Larry Ellison Not The Only Potential Buyer For The Golden State Warriors

K ShakranSenior Analyst IMarch 23, 2010

INDIAN WELLS, CA - MARCH 12:  Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle, (L) Raymond Moore, during the BNP Paribas Open on March 12, 2010 in Indian Wells, California. Ellison is the new owner of the tennis tournament.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Way before Chris Cohan, the Golden State Warriors' current owner, decided to release the sell-the-Warriors statement on March 22 that sent a buzz throughout the Bay Area, Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle Corporation, had bid for a $315 million buy of the team last summer.

Highly respected San Jose Mercury News columnist, Tim Kawakami, first reported the Ellison bid.

However, with Cohan's intent now crystal clear not only for Warriors' fans, but for NBA commissioner David Stern as well, Ellison apparently will not be the sole bidder to buy the franchise.

He may be the front runner, but he faces other potential bidders as well.

According to Kawakami, "at least five or six other groups have expressed tacit interest over the last year." Those groups were told to hold on to officially expressing their intent to buy the Warriors until the time is right.

Cohan's announcement should give the green light to those groups to engage in the bidding process.

But the most interesting perspective with this lies in the fact that the price tag Ellison offered to Cohan at $315 million might not be enough to force the deal to go through.

According to a high NBA source that Kawakami anonymously refers to, the Warriors could be worth more than $400 million. This illuminates a vital aspect regarding Cohan not deciding to publicly declare his intent to sell for the past year or so.

Cohan was apparently disappointed with the $315 million deal Ellison offered last summer.

"It’s clear that Cohan is looking to top $400M, with other NBA people hoping it jumps over that mark, too," Kawakami wrote.

With this perspective now clear, other parties who have had interest in purchasing the Warriors might attempt to compete with Ellison on who offers the most serious deal.

It also goes to illustrate the importance of the Bay Area market to the NBA. Oracle Arena, for several years, has had one of the best attendance records despite the dismal image of the basketball team on the court.

If Cohan could have attempted to divert away from obsessing with money and focused on building a team worth watching, his bank account would have tripled and most importantly, his public image would have been improved.

In the meanwhile, Warriors' fans can absorb this moment and finally believe that the "laughing stock of the league" label on this team can, in the near future, disappear.


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