Toronto Raptors governor Larry Tanenbaum was elected chairman of the NBA Board of Governors on Thursday. Tanenbaum, the longtime chairman of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), becomes the first Canadian owner to serve as chairman of the board. He succeeds Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, who has been chairman since April 2014.
“It is a great honour to have been elected as chairman of the NBA Board of Governors, for both myself and the Toronto Raptors franchise,” said Tanenbaum. “I look forward to working closely with commissioner (Adam) Silver, the league office and my fellow owners in this capacity to grow the game around the world and continually look for opportunities to better this great league for our teams, our players and our fans.”
Tanenbaum, a Toronto native, has served on the NBA advisory/finance committee since 2008 and was part of the planning committee from 2000-14. He also had stints on several other committees, including labour relations and expansion/realignment. Tanenbaum has been governor of the Raptors since 1998 and holds the same title with the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and MLS’s Toronto FC. Tanenbaum has seen the Raptors make the playoffs in the last four years and reach a franchise-record 56 victories in 2015-16.
“Larry’s passion for the sport, years of influence in the NBA and other professional leagues, and respect and support from his fellow governors will make him an ideal chairman of the Board of Governors to help lead continued growth for our league,” said Raptors president Masai Ujiri. “Larry’s incredible support of the Raptors over the years, as well as all of us personally, has meant a great deal to us. We are thrilled to see Larry recognized in this way.”