Buyers have been showing their interest in purchasing the Los Angeles Clippers after Adam Silver, the NBA Commissioner, said that he is pushing for the team’s sale and is also urging league owners to push for the sale as well. The news came out following the lifetime NBA ban of the team’s owner Donald Sterling.
The lifetime ban was a sanction given to Sterling for making racist comments during a recorded conversation that resurfaced on Friday. In the recording, Sterling was being critical of his girlfriend V. Stiviano for associating with “black people.” He was also heard asking Stiviano not to invite Magic Johnson and other minorities to Clipper games. Stiviano, however, describes herself as being of African American and Mexican descent.
Audio of conversation between Donald Sterling and V. Stiviano
Magic Johnson reacts to Sterling tape
Aside from the lifetime ban, Sterling is also being asked to pay a fine of $2.5 million, which is the maximum amount allowed according to the NBA constitution.
According to Forbes, the Clippers’ present value is at $575 million. Sterling was able to purchase the team at $12.5 million in 1981. The valuation puts the team as the league's 13th most valuable franchise.
One of person that is very interested in buying the team is business magnate and entertainment mogul David Geffen. The email that came from his office said that Geffen is interested “if the Clippers become available.” They also said that Geffen is not available to make a comment. Although he has shown his interest, he has not made an offer yet.
Geffen, who is estimated to be worth $6.2 billion, was interested in buying a controlling stake of the team in 2010, but was refused by Sterling.
Aside from Geffen, there are also a few others who are said to be interested in purchasing the team. Some of them are former Lakers player Magic Johnson, boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., real estate agent and billionaire Rick Caruso, Chief Executive of Oracle Larry Ellison, and billionaire doctor Patrick Soon-Shiong.
Bidding groups had already formed even before Adam Silver's announcement was made on Tuesday.
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