A sporting team in one of America's biggest and richest cities is up for sale and the rich and famous haven't been shy to put their hat in the ring. The NBA announced this week that LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling will be forced to sell the franchise after making offensive comments about his girlfriend's relationship with African-Americans. The Clippers have been valued at up to a whopping $1 billion, but that hasn't stopped some of Hollywood's biggest names expressing their interest.
Billionaire trio Oprah Winfrey, Dreamworks co-founder David Geffen and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison are serious contenders and they will have no problem stumping up the cash. Geffen had previously tried to buy the team in 2010 and recently told Forbes that he is still "very much” interested. Ellison has also previously tried to invest in NBA franchises, being outbid for the Golden State Warriors and New Orleans Hornets.
Damon is reportedly interested in becoming a “super tiny minority investor” in the Clippers. In the likely event that the team is sold to a group of investors, the Hollywood star is keen to add ‘NBA owner’ to his resume.
We can't remember what name he goes by these days, but the rap mogul could follow the path of Jay-Z and enter the realm of NBA ownership. While Mr Combs certainly has the funds, his basketball allegiance could be put to the test. “I will always be a Knicks fan, but I am a business man,” he said this week.
The former child star became a Clippers fan in 1994 after playing NBA Live ’95 on his Super Nintendo. "I always stated as a young teen in interviews my dream was to one day own the L.A. Clippers,” he said. While filming Malcolm in the Middle, Muniz went to every home game from 2000-2008, a relatively painful stretch for Clipper fans. He tweeted his interest this week and could be a surprise investor.
Magic Johnson is no stranger to the L.A. sports scene. He's already a part of the Dodgers' ownership group and was one of the greatest Lakers players in history. For now, Johnson remains tight-lipped about his level of interest but he is expected to be a big player.
Boxer 'Money' Mayweather is a regular attendee at the Staples Center and now he could be trading in courtside seats for the owner’s suite. "Me and my team want to buy the Clippers. And we can afford the Clippers,” Mayweather said this week. However, the 37-year-old's criminal record - he served 90 days in jail for battery upon his ex-girlfriend - may count against him.
Who better to lead the new era of Clippers basketball than longtime super fan Billy Crystal? Crystal frequently attends game courtside, even during their leaner years, before 'Lob City' brought success to the franchise. Earlier this week Crystal tweeted in relation to Sterling “He may own the team but they belong to us. Go Clippers!”. Crystal is also part owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team.
California native and hip-hop mogul Dr. Dre is reportedly "absolutely" interested in buying the Clippers, confirming "I'm thinking about it". Dre sat in second place behind Sean Combs/Puff Daddy/Diddy/P. Diddy on Forbes’ 2014 Hip-Hops Wealthiest Artists list, thanks to the rapid growth of his Beats by Dre headphone empire.
De La Hoya loves sports and loves L.A. “I was born and raised in Los Angeles, I know what it takes to run a successful sports entity and nothing would make me happier than to bring an NBA Championship home to Southern California sports fans," he said. De La Hoya is one of the principal owners of the Major League Soccer franchise the Houston Dynamo as well as running his own sports promotion firm, Golden Boy Promotions.
Comedian Tracy Morgan took to Twitter to express his interest in joining the Clippers sweepstakes, tweeting “I WANT IN!! I WANT TO BUY THE CLIPPERS!!" This is the least likely of outcomes but Tracy Morgan owning an NBA team could nearly be the most entertaining thing ever.