If you listen to the philosophy of current Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling, the 30 NBA team owners feed and clothe players of the National Basketball Association. On Saturday; recordings of Sterling discussing his racist views with girlfriend V. Stiviano were released to the media. In them; the billionaire scolds Stiviano who is of black and Mexican heritage; for attending Clipper games in the company of black people, in particular NBA great Magic Johnson and L.A. Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp.
D.S. – It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people. Do you have to?
V.S. – Do you know that you have a whole team that’s black… that plays for you?
D.S. – You just, do I know? I support them and give them food and clothes and cars and houses. Who gives it to them? Does someone else give it to them? Do I know that I have… who makes the game? Do I make the game, or do they make the game? Is there 30 owners that created the league?
When Sterling’s comments went public, it sparked an investigation by the NBA. According to Adam Silver, the NBA’s new commissioner, investigators authenticated Sterling’s voice on the recordings. While his comments may have been made in private, they made their way to the public and the league moved to impose a punishment at the conclusion of its investigation. At a press conference on Tuesday, Silver announced what the consequences would be for Sterling’s comments. Silver said,
The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful; that they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage and my personal outrage.
Silver imposed a lifetime ban, a fine of $2.5 million and will begin the process to strip Sterling of his ownership of the L.A. Clippers. According to Silver, a vote of three quarters of the owners could force the sale of the team. Silver said to reporters,
I will urge the Board of Governors to exercise its authority to force a sale of the team and will do everything in my power to ensure that that happens. This has been a painful moment for all members of the NBA family.
With a possibility of a sale of the team, groups and individuals are lining up to express their interest in owning a team. Some of the names being mentioned include entertainment moguls Oprah Winfrey and David Geffen, Larry Ellison and Floyd Mayweather.
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It’s been reported that Oprah Winfrey has expressed interest in buying the Clippers. Winfrey owns a cable network, OWN, a magazine and production company. Could she be the next owner of the L.A. Clippers? Does she even like basketball?
WBC welterweight champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. dropped his name in the hat as a possible buyer while he was promoting his Saturday night fight in Las Vegas. Mayweather said that he and his other billionaires would “see what we can come up with.”
Billionaire media mogul David Geffen, co-founder of Dreamworks Studios could also be a contender in a possible bidding war for the only NBA franchise in Los Angeles to go up for sale in the last 30 years.