Celebrities, Athletes, Billionaires Head List of Possible Clippers Buyers

Oprah Winfrey, Floyd Mayweather Jr, and Rick Caruso have all expressed interest in buying the team after the NBA moved to oust owner Donald Sterling

By Steven Covelman, Jason Kandel and Kim Baldonado
|  Thursday, May 1, 2014  |  Updated 5:56 AM CDT
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Several prominent names including Magic Johnson, Rick Caruso, and Oprah Winfrey are being mentioned as potential buyers of the Clippers franchise, which the NBA will attempt to force embattled owner Donald Sterling to sell. Kim Baldonado reports from Staples Center for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 30, 2014.

Kim Baldonado/Mark James

Several prominent names including Magic Johnson, Rick Caruso, and Oprah Winfrey are being mentioned as potential buyers of the Clippers franchise, which the NBA will attempt to force embattled owner Donald Sterling to sell. Kim Baldonado reports from Staples Center for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 30, 2014.

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Some well-known names are expressing interest in buying the Los Angeles Clippers in the wake of a scandal involving team owner Donald Sterling.

Oprah Winfrey, Oracle founder Larry Ellison and music and movie mogul David Geffen are preparing a joint bid to buy the team, Geffen's spokespeople told NBC4.

The music and film mogul reportedly tried to buy the Clippers in 2010 but his offer was not accepted by Sterling. Geffen said he and Ellison would run the team while Winfrey would be an investor

The team is worth $575 million, according to Forbes. That figure is expected to rise once the Clippers’ local media rights deal expires after the 2015-16 season.

This power trio is worth an estimated $59.2 billion.

The Clippers are coming off the two best regular season performances in franchise history and feature some of the league’s most exciting players in Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.

Once a perennial doormat, the franchise now consistently ranks in the top-10 in attendance and boasts the fifth largest television audience in the NBA.

Sterling purchased the then-San Diego Clippers for $12.5 million in 1981.

All of these factors make the Clippers an attractive buy for a number of wealthy individuals.

Here is a list of other potential suitors who could make a play for the team:

Rick Caruso: The billionaire real estate developer of The Grove and The Americana at Brand is reportedly interested in leading a group of investors to purchase the Clippers. "Whether it’s me or somebody else, clearly there needs to be new ownership," Caruso told the Los Angeles Times.

In 2012 Caruso planned to make a bid for the Dodgers but dropped out of the running when Frank McCourt did not offer to sell the parking lots surrounding Dodger Stadium.

Magic Johnson: Could Magic trade in his allegiance to the purple and gold for a stake in the Clippers? With financial backing from fellow Dodgers owners Guggenheim Partners that is a distinct possibility.

He was a panelist at the Milken Institute Global Conference on Monday when he said he and his investment group are interested in buying the team.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has thrown his support behind Johnson owning an NBA franchise. "Magic Johnson knows he’s always welcome as an owner in this league," Silver said at a press conference Tuesday. “He’s been a part owner in the past of the Los Angeles Lakers and is always welcome and a close friend of the NBA family.”

Floyd Mayweather Jr.: Preparing for his fight at the MGM Grand Saturday night, the brash boxing superstar told reporters that he’s “very, very interested in buying the Clippers.”

"I can’t come in talking about Mayweather only gonna get 3 percent, 4 percent," he said. "I got to get a solid percentage."

Mayweather is a regular at Clippers and Lakers games.

Oscar De La Hoya: Another boxer is throwing himself into the ring for a chance to own the Clippers. De La Hoya has come out publicly to announce he wants to have a piece of the franchise.

"To be an owner of an LA-based team would be a dream come true," he told NBC4. 

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