Mogul told TheWrap he would buy from disgraced current owner Donald Sterling
Hollywood billionaire David Geffen is interested in buying the Los Angeles Clippers, he told TheWrap on Tuesday.
Geffen told TheWrap of his interest on the heels of current owner Donald Sterling's lifetime ban from the NBA and the recommendation by commissioner Adam Silver that he be forced to sell the team.
At a Tuesday news conference, Silver said that Sterling, who was recently caught on tape asking his girlfriend not to bring black people to Clippers games, must also pay a $2.5 million fine — the league's max.
Any actual ousting of Sterling as an owner would require a three-fourths vote by the NBA's Board of Governor's. Silver is very confident that the support for removing Sterling will be there.
Geffen, one of the co-founders of DreamWorks SKG, had previously made an offer to buy the Clippers from Sterling for $600 million several years ago, according to the Wall Street Journal.
On Monday, the Clippers were valued at one billion dollars by ESPN Sports Business Reporter Darren Rovell. For comparison, the Milwaukee Bucks entered an agreement to sell for $550 million earlier in April. That team finished the 2013-2014 season with the worst record in the league.
Of course, with most major sponsors jumping ship the day before Silver's announcement — TheWrap stopped counting at 13 – that evaluation could depend on reinstatement of support. Kia, one of the major companies that bailed on the Clippers on Monday, said on Tuesday, “We look forward to a positive resolution and continuing our relationships within the NBA community, including our league and team sponsorships and our personal ties to Blake Griffin.”
Other potential purchasers include Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, former Los Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson — who is in the L.A. Dodgers ownership group — and hedge fund manager Chris Hansen.
Sterling was caught on tape by his girlfriend making racist remarks and imploring her not to bring black people to Clippers games.
Game 5 of the Round 1 NBA Playoffs series between the Clippers and the Golden State Warriors tips-off tonight at 7:30 p.m. PT.