Barry Ackerley What makes a successful pro sports owner? Look to the late Barry Ackerley By Kirsten Kendrick & Art Thiel • Mar 25, 2011 Listen Listening... / He was tough. He was obstinate. He was the only sports figure to ever lay a hand on KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel. But Art says Barry Ackerley was the best owner the Sonics ever had.