The Democrats and Republicans of the NBA

Ever since I heard that Greg Anthony was a Young Republican during his UNLV days, I have wondered about the political leanings of NBA figures.

I just ran across a website called NewsMeat whose mission is to report political donations. They have a sports Hall of Fame, which includes plenty of NBA figures.

Tons of fun to be had looking through these numbers. For instance, as part of the William Wesley investigation, we have heard several times that Bill and Hillary Clinton were enthusiastic about the Chicago Bulls in their heyday. Looks like the Bulls were enthusiastic about Democrats, too. That team's owner, coach, and star have all given noteworthy amounts to Democrats.

And don't talk politics at the Buss family Thanksgiving. Papa gives mainly to the GOP, but daughter Jeanie and her beau Phil Jackson prefer Democrats.

Of course, most of these donations are not big enough to make these figures real political players. But check out the commish! David Stern is a biggie for Democrats. Newsmeat reports that 98% of that eye-popping figure went straight to the Democrats, 0% went to Republicans, and 2% went to special interests.

And Magic Owner/Amway Tycoon Richard DeVos has reportedly given close to $3 million, most of which is for special interests, and none of which is for Democrats. $2 million of it reportedly went straight to the conservative Progress for America Voter Fund in September 2004. That group has paid for Kerry attack ads, and more recently ads promoting the war in Iraq. (One of them, which recently aired in Minnesota, seems to shamelessly connect Iraq to 9/11.)

Without further adieu, the list (or read the whole thing):

Exclusively Democratic Giving
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar $1,000
Charles Barkley $2,000
Jeanie Buss $5,000
Phil Jackson $5,455
Michael Jordan $18,000
Alonzo Mourning $25,000
Gregg Popovich $2,000
Pat Riley $4,754
David Stern $781,780
Isiah Thomas $5,000

Majority Democratic Giving

George Karl $7,000
Jerry Reinsdorf $346,278
Julius 'Dr. J' Erving $2,300

Playing the Middle
Mark Cuban $7,000

Majority Republican Giving
Jerry Buss $23,550

Exclusively Republican Giving
Richard DeVos $2,866,88 (76% to special interests--24% to Republicans)
Clyde Drexler $2,000
Karl Malone $10,000

UPDATE: Thanks for the heads up: Says here Vlade Divac gave $10,000 to the DNC in 2000. If anyone finds more, e-mail me and I'll add them.