Jun 2, 2010, 12:30 PM EDT
The possible sale of the Golden State Warriors is moving along quickly. Probably a lot more quickly than Don Nelson would like, as he is likely toast as coach once the sale is done.
Associated Press is reporting that there are four “finalists” bidders left in the running.
Larry Ellison, the founder and CEO of Oracle, is still in the running. And he may well win the bid. He is by far the richest man in the game — he is worth more than double new Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov. He is the sixth richest man on the planet. He could literally write a check tomorrow for more than anyone else in the game. Plus he is well connected, having networked with David Stern on getting a team.
But in the end, it’s about the money on the table, and right now Ellison does not have the most, AP’s sources tell it.
“It’s my understanding that at least one and maybe more bids were higher,” one informed source said.
“I know Mr. Ellison and his people have done a lot of networking with the league, with the commissioner,” said the other knowledgeable source. “But in the end, it’s in the best interest of the commissioner and the league to get as much as they can for any franchise. Should that bid come from someone other than Ellison, and that person can get approved, then that person will get the team.”
Ellison is said to have bid $315 million for the franchise, which is what his people valued the franchise at. Current owner Chris Cohan wants $400 million or more.
The other known entity in the running is Mark Mastrov, who founded the 24-Hour Fitness chain. Ironically making him enough money to be fat and happy if he wanted to be. His ownership bid has partners, including one Magic Johnson (who would have to sell his five percent share in the Lakers to get, what one would assume, is a larger piece and role in the Bay Area).
However it ends, the Warriors will be in better hands. Which means Nelson will be on the way out.
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