Magic Johnson has swooped in to lend a little magic to the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team, which had fallen on hard financial times under the leadership of owner Frank McCourt.
The former Los Angeles Lakers star leads a group that also includes head of Mandalay Entertainment Peter Guber, CEO of Guggenheim Partners Mark Walter and Stan Kasten, former Atlanta Hawks GM, and former president to both the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals, and which has put in a bid to buy the Dodgers for $2 billion.
That becomes easily the largest price ever paid for a professional sports team. The former MLB record was when the Chicago Cubs were bought for $845 million in 2008. The North American record was when the Miami Dolphins were bought for $1.15 billion in 2009. And the worldwide record was previously set when the Manchester United soccer team was purchased for $1.4 billion.
McCourt must be doing backflips at the offer, as he “only” paid $430 million for the team eight years ago – though he must pay ex-wife Jamie McCourt $131 million by April 30 in their divorce proceedings. Still, that’s a drop in the bucket compared to $2 billion.
The Dodgers players did not hesitate to start celebrating on Twitter.
Shortstop Dee Gordon says, “Great news tonight! Congrats @MagicJohnson for being our new owner! it’s time to shock the world!!!
Outfielder Matt Kemp tweets, Good day 4 the @dodgers! The great @magicjohnson is the new owner!! Let’s start a dynasty baby!!”
Pitcher Javy Guerra writes, “Majic!!!!! What’s good LA?” and “Magic * darn auto correct”
And Dodgers players weren’t the only ones.
Delwyn Young of the White Sox tweets, “@JavyGuerra54 congrats my dude. #la is about to be turned into #magicjohnson city. You really about to lean like a cholo” and Joel Hanrahan of the Pirates says, “Congrats Stan and Magic! Stan is a solid dude! Co gears @JavyGuerra54 and @TheRealMattKemp do work!”