You may have heard the Clippers will probably be on the market soon, unless banned-for-life owner Donald Sterling wants to make a protracted legal battle out of this and give everyone a hard time. (Our advice, Donald: Fuck off, and let people forget about you as soon as possible.) An owner vote pushing Sterling out of the league is expected to go in the league’s favor, at which point Silver and company will decide who gets to buy the team.
Any takers for a franchise possibly worth $1 billion, with great, marketable stars in one of the world’s biggest cities? Yes, actually, there are. Like Diddy — you remember Diddy, also known as Puff Daddy, right?
— Diddy (@iamdiddy) April 29, 2014
Likelihood of Diddy buying the Clippers: Small, but not infinitesimal. The Ciroc-slinging producer-entrepreneur-“rapper” is worth about $700 million. That’s team-buying money.
How about another hip-hop mogul, Rick Ross?
— Mastermind (@rickyrozay) April 29, 2014
Likelihood of Rick Ross buying the Clippers: Very, very small. Which is ironic, given the man’s actual size, which is ginormous.
How about Frankie Muniz — the kid from “Malcolm in the Middle” and… “Spy Kids.” He’s a Jersey guy, but apparently he’s a Clippers fan because he liked playing with them on NBA Live ’95:
I am buying the Los Angeles Clippers.
— Frankie Muniz (@frankiemuniz) April 29, 2014
Likelihood of Frankie Muniz buying the Clippers: Not happening, unless he gets serious help from his Hollywood friends. Cute idea though, buddy.
Let’s get serious again. How about insanely rich and undefeated boxer, Floyd Mayweather Jr.? (via USA Today):
The undefeated fighter, who faces Marcos Maidana on Saturday in a Showtime pay-per-view event reiterated, “Me and my team want to buy the Clippers. And we can afford the Clippers.”
Mayweather said the worst part of buying an NBA franchise is that he would have to stop betting.
Likelihood of Mayweather buying the Clippers: I would have said decent, until he started defending Sterling in the same interview (“I don’t have nothing negative to say about the guy”). That’s probably not a good look.
There’s always another member of the Sterling family. How about Shelly, Donald’s estranged wife, who claims to not be a racist, so that’s probably all we’ll need to hear in terms of a background check. She wants her son-in-law, Eric Miller, to take over the franchise, but that’s probably not happening (via Yahoo Sports):
While the NBA is attempting to push Sterling out as owner, it’s uncertain if his wife or any other family member could take over the franchise. National Basketball Players Association vice-president Roger Mason, Jr., however, told Yahoo Sports that the players want completely new ownership and not a family member connected to Sterling. A source said that Shelley Sterling would like for her son-in-law Eric Miller, the Clippers’ Director of Basketball Administration, to take over the franchise.
“We’re looking for a change in ownership. A complete change,” Mason said.
Likelihood of the team staying in the Sterling family: Low, but probably a better chance of this than Frankie Muniz.
Finally (so far), there’s the obvious choice — Magic Johnson. Before Silver handed down his lifetime ban of Sterling, Johnson had this to say about the prospect of buying the team:
To NBA Fans, I want to put a stop to a rumor. I am not trying to buy the Clippers, they already have an owner.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 29, 2014
Likelihood of Johnson (and the Guggenheim partners) buying the Clippers now that Sterling is gone: High.
They’re the frontrunners, at this point.
UPDATE: Magic Johnson is no longer the frontrunner, because of this (via ESPN):
Oprah Winfrey is considering teaming with David Geffen and Larry Ellison to make a bid to buy the Los Angeles Clippers if the NBA board of governors votes to force Donald Sterling to sell the team, sources told ESPN.
Geffen, a music and film mogul with a net worth that Forbes estimates at $6.2 billion, reportedly tried to buy at least a controlling stake in the Clippers in 2010 but was rebuffed by Sterling.
Likelihood of Oprah and her rich friends buying the Clippers: High. Very high. They’ve got star power, money, and reported previous interest. That’s the Triforce of things you need to buy a team in Los Angeles.
Anyone else trying to buy the Clippers? Is it you? Let us know.
Photo via Getty