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#pounditTuesday, February 27, 2024

Suns owner Mat Ishbia publicly rips rival Dan Gilbert

Mat Ishbia smiling

Feb 8, 2023; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns owner Mat Ishbia speaks to the media at an introductory press conference at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mat Ishbia is wearing his dislike of fellow NBA owner Dan Gilbert on his sleeve.

Appearing this week on an episode of “The Bill Simmons Podcast,” the new Phoenix Suns owner Ishbia was asked about his relationship with Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. The two men have had a heated personal and professional rivalry with one another, long pre-dating Ishbia becoming owner of the Suns.

“He doesn’t like me and I don’t like him,” Ishbia said. “That’s how it is. Business? His company used to be No. 1 in mortgage. UWM, my business, is No. 1 in mortgage [now]. I don’t like the way they do business in a lot of things. He probably doesn’t like the way we do things. We’re in the same town. We compete. We’re winning. That’s what it is right now.”

Ishbia did add of Gilbert though that “I wish him nothing but the best” in reference to Gilbert’s recent health struggles after suffering a stroke in 2019. But he then went on to call Gilbert out for “[doing] things the wrong way” in the business realm.

Here is the full clip of Ishbia’s remarks.

Ishbia and Gilbert are both Michigan natives and both made their fortunes in the mortgage lending industry (Ishbia as CEO and chairman of United Wholesale Mortgage and Gilbert as the co-founder and chairman of Rocket Mortgage). The two also both attended Michigan State University (a realm in which they have butted heads as well).

When Ishbia was confirmed as the Suns’ new owner in February, Gilbert made sure to pull a very petty move on him. With these latest comments from Ishbia, it is pretty clear that the animus between them is mutual.

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