Apr 28, 2014, 9:15 AM EDT
The initial alleged Donald Sterling tape centered around a fight a person believed to be the Clippers owner was having with his girlfriend. The source of the dispute? Of all things, a photo posted to Instagram of her and Magic Johnson.
That won’t be the last you hear of Johnson in this controversy.
Magic Johnson and his billionaire backers, the Guggenheim Partners, want a chance to purchase the Los Angeles Clippers, league sources told Yahoo Sports. “Magic’s absolutely interested,” one source closely connected to Johnson’s business interests told Yahoo Sports on Sunday night.
Magic Johnson and Guggenheim had been aggressive in pursuing a purchase of the Los Angeles Lakers – only to have the Buss family make clear to them the franchise isn’t for sale, sources told Yahoo Sports.
The Dodgers group is serious about owning an NBA team, and the league knows it. Together, they arranged for Johnson and the Guggenheim Partners to purchase the WNBA’s cash-strapped Los Angeles Sparks in February. The league office needed someone to spare it the embarrassment of the WNBA’s flagship franchise folding, and Magic and Guggenheim bailed it out. This hadn’t been born out of a sense of benevolence, but rather a pragmatic move to deeper ingratiate themselves with the NBA.
Magic Johnson and partners buying the Clippers would be better for everyone involved.
- It would be better for the Clippers, who’d have an owner with human decency and a greater capability of building a quality organization.
- It would be better for Johnson, who clearly wants to own an NBA team.
- It would be better for Sterling, who would get a massive payout and escape public scrutiny, maybe even allowing time to repair his image.
- It would be better for the NBA, which would rid itself of a black eye and liability and welcome a beloved former superstar back into a formal role.
But the NBA is not a communist state that can unilaterally imposed measures to achieve the greater good. NBA Commission Adam Silver’s power is limited by the league’s constitution.
Sterling, perhaps pushed by Silver and the other owners, might choose to sell the team. In the face of mounting public criticism, maybe even Sterling becomes embarrassed enough to bow out. Most people would see getting denounced by the president of the United States as a wakeup call.
Nobody has ever mistaken Sterling for most people, though. Besides, selling isn’t in his nature. In real estate, he keeps his properties rather than flipping them.
And even if Sterling does sell the Clippers, Johnson and his partners would probably need to submit the highest bid. Sterling being persuaded to sell is one thing. Sterling being persuaded to sell and leave money on the table is another.
And excuse me if this doesn’t make Johnson look a little opportunistic. He’s not really a victim in this any more than all minorities are victims of people like Sterling is alleged to be. Johnson’s name just happened to get mentioned in the tape because of an Instagram photo.
But if he can play this into an opening to buy the team, it sounds like he would.
Appearing on ABC’s pregame show yesterday, Johnson said of Sterling: “He shouldn’t own a team anymore. And he should stand up and say, ‘I don’t want to own a team anymore.’”
I agree with Johnson’s sentiment, and I’m sure most do. It’s just not so simple, and I don’t think Johnson escalating the public-relations battle against Sterling while also angling to buy the team is productive.
Jul 23, 2014, 12:15 PM EDT
Dallas was counting on him for bench depth and now will be looking to replace that help in a depleted market.
Jul 23, 2014, 11:37 AM EDT
Minnesota wants to dump some bad contracts as part of the deal, and Cleveland isn’t taking them.
LeBron James sent cupcakes to Akron neighbors to apologize for commotion caused by his free agent decision
Jul 23, 2014, 11:01 AM EDT
People descended upon LeBron’s neighborhood as rumors swirled.
Jul 23, 2014, 10:21 AM EDT
Stackhouse coached against Hollins at adidas Eurocamp in Italy this summer.
Jul 23, 2014, 9:47 AM EDT
LeBron has used more than just physical gifts to become all-time great NBA player
Jul 23, 2014, 9:16 AM EDT
Pacers center needs confidence more than a skyhook
Jul 23, 2014, 8:45 AM EDT
Russ Smith had a nice Summer League.
Jul 23, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT
Dallas, seeking third point guard, has already met with Mo Williams
Jul 23, 2014, 1:00 AM EDT
As Cavaliers position themselves for Kevin Love trade, now was the time to sign No. 33 pick
Jul 23, 2014, 12:00 AM EDT
Bzdelik, who most recently coached Wake Forest, previously served as Nuggets head coach
Jul 22, 2014, 11:20 PM EDT
Bieber wearing a Nets hat, so you know what that means…
Jul 22, 2014, 10:20 PM EDT
Donald’s lawyer says ruling might not come for years
Jul 22, 2014, 9:20 PM EDT
Devin Harris 2.0?
Jul 22, 2014, 8:20 PM EDT
Brooklyn reaches regular-season roster limit of 15 players
Jul 22, 2014, 7:22 PM EDT
Utah reportedly trades John Lucas III, Malcolm Thomas and Erik Murphy to Cleveland for Carrick Felix, second-round pick and $1 million
Jul 22, 2014, 6:53 PM EDT
Sterling will be removed as Clippers owner one way or another because he is toxic to the organization right now.
Jul 22, 2014, 6:02 PM EDT
He’s going to get some of Paul Pierce’s minutes.
Jul 22, 2014, 5:11 PM EDT
Adam Silver does the classy thing. Again.
Jul 22, 2014, 4:20 PM EDT
Evan Turner is now a reclamation project — if he wants to get paid he has to become more efficient.
Jul 22, 2014, 3:38 PM EDT
It means the Timberwolves want to send Kevin Martin out in the Love deal, Cavs trying to make that happen.
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