Current Clippers owner Donald Sterling agreed to let his wife negotiate the sale of the team on his behalf, and that will ultimately send some of the richest people in the world into a bidding war for the team.
Since Adam Silver handed out a lifetime ban to Sterling and put pressure on the owners to force the sale of his team, rumors have spread rampant about who will be the future majority owner of the Clippers. Celebrities, businessmen and women, and former players have not been shy about showing their interest in acquiring the team. Here are ten potential buyers.
10. Oprah Winfrey
This is one of the more noteworthy and interesting potential buyers. According to ESPN, Winfrey will join with billionaire media mogul David Geffen and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison to place a bid on the team.
Oprah is not interested in running the team,” Geffen told ESPN’s Jeremy Shaap. “She thinks it would be a great thing for an important black American to own [another] franchise.
9. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Mayweather made his interest in buying the Clippers known, and he is not short on cash. However, I’m not so sure the NBA is or should be as interested in him owning a team. Mayweather has never hidden his gambling addiction, and that is not something that owners will overlook when they allow someone to become a majority owner.
8. Earvin “Magic” Johnson
This would be the ideal scenario for the NBA and the outcome that many people are rooting for. Considering the racist remarks that Sterling made were surrounding an incident with Johnson, there wouldn’t be a better way for the NBA to stick it to Sterling one final time than to sell his beloved franchise to a person he has so much hate toward. Johnson originally denied interest in the team before Sterling made his intent to sell the team public. However, Johnson quickly acknowledged the fact that he and his associates are interested in buying the Clippers from the Sterling family.
Magic Johnson and his billionaire backers, the Guggenheim Partners, want a chance to purchase the Los Angeles Clippers,” league sources told Yahoo Sports. ‘Magic’s absolutely interested,’ one source closely connected to Johnson’s business interests told Yahoo Sports on Sunday night.
Johnson has already proven he is a more than competent owner of a professional franchise after his recent purchase of the LA Dodgers. He is one of the frontrunners to become the Clippers’ next owner.
7. Rap Artists
Andre Young aka Dr. Dre, Sean Combs aka Diddy and William Roberts II aka Rick Ross all expressed interest to TMZ to buy the franchise. While they are not the most likely group of people to buy the Clippers, they do have the money necessary if they were to team up with other investors to make a serious run at purchasing the team.
Dr. Dre becomes a particularly interesting candidate if he fetches the rumored $3.2 billion from the deal between Dre Beats and tech monster Apple.
6. Yao Ming
Magic Johnson is not the only former NBA star interested in owning a team. Yao Ming is reportedly getting a group of Chinese investors organized to make a run at purchasing the Clippers. Ming has maintained a strong relationship with the NBA and even tried to buy the Milwaukee Bucks when they were for sale. In a game that is going more and more international, this is one of my sleeper picks.
5. Steve Ballmer
While the former Microsoft CEO and current majority shareholder hasn’t directly expressed interest in buying the team, the New York Post reported that he is being strongly urged to purchase the team by his business associates.
4. Donald Trump
Rumors have swirled about the most famous realtor in history possibly buying the team, but the Washington Post reported that Trump decided to buy a golf course instead. Trump and Mark Cuban have gotten into arguments countless times, and seeing them compete as owners would be a ton of fun.
3. Rick Caruso
The billionaire developer expressed his interest in buying the Clippers. Caruso also made a run at purchasing the Dodgers in 2012.
2. Patrick Soon-Shiong
The richest person in LA clearly has interest in the NBA after he bought Magic Johnson’s share of the LA Lakers in 2012. The Korea Times also reported that he has interest in becoming the majority owner of the Clippers. He certainly has the money and resources necessary. The only question remaining is if he would sell his share of the Lakers in order to own the Clippers.
The most likely scenario is that a person who has not publicly claimed their interest in buying the team will make an aggressive bid to own the Clippers and will ultimately buy the team. Most people who are seriously interested in buying the team will not publicly express their interest in fear of driving up the price.
Whoever ends up buying the team one thing is for sure; there will be plenty of interest in the acquisition of the LA Clippers.
Sports-Kings’ Pass the Pill Contributor @THEMarkPace