Ryan Smith was "really close" to making a bid for the Minnesota Timberwolves before he eventually purchased the Utah Jazz and their arena for $1.66 billion.
Smith was seriously considering taking the next step until his wife, Ashley, voiced her objection.
"With my wife, something wasn't right. She was putting her foot down," Smith told ESPN. "She was like, 'You know we're Jazz fans, right? That's what we do, and I'm not moving.' She doesn't put her foot down very often, but it was a nice reminder that I was kind of getting caught up in this other world because I liked the business side of it."
Smith approached Gail Miller, who initially rebuffed the interest before reengaging over the summer.
"Ryan Smith is a forward-thinking, community-minded entrepreneur and business leader who will be a fantastic addition to our league," NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. "As a lifelong fan of the Utah Jazz and more recently as one of their key marketing partners, Ryan has demonstrated his deep commitment to the Jazz and the Utah community, and there's no doubt he will bring that same level of dedication to the operation of the team."