With Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling banned from the NBA and the league looking to force a sale of the team, potential buyers for the franchise are lining up. Among them is none other than Oprah Winfrey.
ESPN reports that Winfrey is interested in joining fellow billionaires Larry Ellison and David Geffen in putting together a bid for the team, if and when the Clippers go up for sale. The team is estimated to be worth $575 million.
She does not, however, want to be part of the day-to-day operations. “Oprah is not interested in running the team,” Geffen tells ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap. “She thinks it would be a great thing for an important black American to own [another] franchise.
“The team deserves a better group of owners, who want to win. Larry would sooner die than fail. I would sooner die than fail. Larry’s a sportsman, we’ve talked about this for a long time. Between the three of us, we have a good shot.”
In announcing Sterling’s lifetime ban, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said he would seek a vote of the other owners to force Sterling to sell the team after Sterling was recorded by his mistress, V. Stiviano, making racist statements. The vote requires a three-fourths majority, or 22 of the 29 other owners.
Winfrey, Ellison and Geffen could potentially have competition in a bid for the Clippers from developer Rick Caruso; NBA legend Magic Johnson and Guggenheim Partners, who also own baseball’s L.A. Dodgers; boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr.; and former “Malcolm in the Middle” star and long-time Clippers fan Frankie Muniz.
Winfrey, however, could be a secret weapon for her group. Imagine what she’d sound like doing the pre-game player introductions: