How the World's Fifth-Wealthiest Man Plays Basketball. (Hint: It Involves Two Boats.)

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
May 1 2014 5:28 PM

How to Play Basketball Like a Tech Tycoon

Larry Ellison's yacht: The Rising Sun
Start with a yacht ...

Reivax / Flickr (Creative Commons)

The very rich play basketball differently from you and me.

At least, Oracle co-founder and CEO Larry Ellison does. In an article naming Ellison as a possible suitor for the Los Angeles Clippers, the Wall Street Journal dropped the following tidbit about the tech tycoon’s recreational habits:

The Oracle chief has had basketball courts on at least two of his yachts, said Tom Ehman, who handles America's Cup matters for Mr. Ellison. He said Mr. Ellison liked to relax by shooting hoops on these courts, and has had someone in a powerboat following the yacht to retrieve balls that go overboard.
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Apparently I do not understand being uber-rich at all, because I would have thought it’d be easier just to bring along some spare basketballs. But then I guess you wouldn’t get the satisfaction of barking, “Smithers, fetch me that roundball!” every time you laid another brick.

Let it not be said, though, that Ellison is wasteful: The basketball court on his yacht The Rising Sun—reportedly the world's 10th-largest yacht—conveniently doubles as a helipad.

Ellison, by the way, took in a cool $78.4 million in compensation last year for his stewardship of the world’s second-largest software vendor—more than twice as much as any other CEO in America, according to Equilar. He also owns 98 percent of the Hawaiian island of Lanai.

Previously in Slate:

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Will Oremus is Slate's senior technology writer.

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