Here's Cleveland Cavs owner Dan Gilbert, one of the leading hardline owners in the current NBA lockout singing a very different tune in 2005:
"To me, NBA franchises are like pieces of art. There are only 30 of them. They aren't always on the market, especially a franchise that would have been such a natural fit ... If you just looked at the Cavaliers in terms of revenues, profits and balance sheets -- and you paid this amount for it -- people would say "You're insane! You're nuts." But if you look at all the tentacles, the impact on our other venues, it makes tremendous sense. We have now opened a Cleveland office [of Quicken Loans] and that's tremendously successful. Our employees love it that we're associated with the Cavs and can come to games -- that helps us attract and keep better people. There are a lot of non-profit things that can be done with pro sports. It brings an unbelievable amount of excitement."
Quote is from here.