Oprah Winfrey is the latest big-name celebrity reportedly showing interest in becoming at least a partial owner of the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers.
ESPN.com reports Oprah would be part of a group also including DreamWorks SKG and Asylum Records founder David Geffen as well as Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. The latter duo has been previously rumored as potential buyers, but it's the first time Oprah has been linked to the team:
Geffen's and Ellison's potential interest has been previously reported, but sources told ESPN they are considering joining with Winfrey on the bid for the Clippers, who could draw the interest of some of the world's wealthiest people.
Geffen also revealed that Sterling's ownership of the Clippers kept LeBron James from signing with the franchise during his free agency in 2010:
Geffen also told Schaap that superstar LeBron James was interested in playing in Los Angeles when he was a free agent in 2010. But James, who ultimately signed with theMiami Heat, told Geffen that he would not play for Sterling.
The report from ESPN also lists Floyd Mayweather Jr., Sean Combs and Magic Johnson among the other notable people connected to possible bids since NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned Donald Sterling for life with the intention of forcing a sale.
On Tuesday, Silver announced the league's punishment for Sterling, which also included a maximum fine of $2.5 million to go along with the lifelong suspension. The decision came after racist remarks were leaked to the public and passed along by TMZ Sports.
As mentioned, Oprah isn't the first celebrity to reportedly throw her hat into the ring for the Clippers, and she probably won't be the last.
Alas, the league still has to go through the legal process of forcing the sale if the Board of Governors approves, which could be a long road depending on how hard Sterling is going to fight the decision. Silver didn't give a timetable for how long it could take.
If the opportunity does arise for bidders to make their best offer, Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel thinks Oprah "makes too much sense":
Money wouldn't be an issue. As Kevin Seifert of ESPN notes, the combined net worth of the trio headlined by Oprah is around $50 billion:
Of course, exactly how involved with the franchise she would be is among the many question marks if she becomes a serious candidate to help purchase the team. She has plenty of other projects, including her television station (OWN).
At the very least, her presence in the conversation makes the entire process even more intriguing as the NBA works to get things sorted out as quickly as possible. If the last day is any indication, chaos could reign supreme.
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