You knew it, didn’t you? You knew that there would be an avalanche of African-American celebrities making verbal overtures to purchase the Los Angeles Clippers the moment NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced the lifetime ban on team owner Donald Sterling after revelations of his racist plantation mentality came to light.
The first, most prominent and respected man to speak up and show interest is Magic Johnson. Mentioned by Sterling in his now infamous tape-recorded rant, he and his billionaire backers, the Guggenheim Group, are marching toward ownership. The problem may be that he already owns the LA Dodgers which may prevent him from being able to own another LA franchise.
But Magic isn’t the only sports figure on the shopping list. According to reports, boxing champ Floyd Mayweather, Jr. has gone public with his interest. While Oscar De La Hoya and his advisor Al Haymon have hinted at wanting to partner their Golden Boy Promotions with Mayweather’s company to make the estimated $575 Million Clippers bid.
All sorts of people with absolutely no knowledge of running a professional sports franchise have paid lip service to the idea.
Sean “Diddy” Combs - who just lost his $200 Million bid to buy the Fuse Network - and rapper Rick Ross took to Twitter to express their interest in the Clippers. Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison is in talks. And media mogul David Geffen told Forbes Tuesday he, “would very much like to buy the team.”
But these two last names lead to the biggest revelation. According to CBS News, Oprah is considering partnering with Ellison and Geffen to create a billion dollar mogul club that will look into buying the Clippers. With their combined worth being nearly $60 billion, this is a huge game changer. Between them and Magic, this could all be the major push needed to easily sway the NBA owners to move swiftly, and truly remove Sterling as Adam Silver deemed – for life.
Sterlings’s estranged wife Rochelle, who attended the Clippers game Monday night, may have access to running the team being that she has part ownership. Despite all this, there’s no word yet on who has the upper hand at this early stage. Sterling is technically still the owner and has to be voted out by ¾ of the other NBA owners to remove his power.
Currently Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan is the only African-American majority owner of a NBA franchise.