At the end of last year, we were delighted by the announcement of the closest we’ve yet come to the inevitable blank-check company merging with itself, the marriage of hedge-fund stake-owning private equity firm Dyal Capital Partners with a SPAC backed by a hedge fund in which it owned a stake, as well as with another hedge fund in which it owned a stake. What we had not realized at the time was that Dyal had already demonstrated its interest in incest through a deal with the NBA under which Dyal would take minority stakes in between five and eight different teams that nominally compete with each other.

Well, more than a year later, Dyal at last owns a piece of an NBA franchise, and one that’s three games away from winning its first-ever title, no less. But it has no plans to stop there, nor even where it originally planned to stop, impropriety, consanguinity and conflicts of interest be damned.

Dyal HomeCourt Partners is purchasing less than 5% of the [Phoenix Suns] and may acquire more over time…. Dyal is raising capital from investors to expand its HomeCourt fund after striking a deal with the NBA last year to take stakes across the league’s 30 teams….

“We’re going to start with something like a 5% stake and look to grow it over time,” Laurino said of the Suns deal as well as the firm’s plans for future acquisitions. Dyal can seek to expand its NBA holdings to as much as 20% per team, according to [Dyal managing director Drew] Laurino.

And why not? It’s not like professional sports franchises are even pretending to compete with one another anymore.

Dyal Buys Stake in Phoenix Suns, Valuing Team at $1.55 Billion [Bloomberg]

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