Oprah Winfrey always seems to have her hands in some type of venture, and early sources are saying that she is in talks with media moguls, David Geffen and Larry Ellison to possibly bid on the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers, who have taken a 3-2 playoff series lead over the Golden State Warriors have been tossed into a media blitz following racists comments by owner, Donald Sterling.
In the past week, Oprah has hit back strong against the soon-to-be former owner of the Clippers, and says that the team deserves a better group of owners to run the franchise. With fellow media moguls, David Geffen and Larry Ellison, the trio would easily have the net worth to purchase an NBA basketball team. Some figures report that the price tag on the team could reach anywhere between $575 million and $1 billion. Between Oprah, Geffen and Ellison their combined net worth reaches an estimated $57 billion.
Donald Sterling, who purchased the Los Angeles Clippers for $12.5 million in 1981 will most likely be forced to sell the franchise, following his now publicized racist comments. For Sterling to be forced to sell the team, and for Oprah Winfrey to have the opportunity to purchase the battered franchise, the NBA Board of Governors would have to return a three-quarters vote in favor of forcing the sale. NBA commissioner Adam Silver has already expressed his confidence, saying that he fully expects the minimum 23 votes from the board, and most likely the vote will be unanimous.
David Geffen, who earned his mass fortune in the 1970’s for creating the record label, Asylum Records has an estimated net worth of $6.2 billion, and past reports have shown his name surface as an interested party in buying a stake in the Clippers franchise. Along with Oprah Winfrey and Geffen, the most powerful of the trio in terms of net worth would come from Larry Ellison with an estimated fortune, according to Forbes of being $50 billion. Ellison, who is the co-founder and CEO of the software company, Oracle Corporation is listed as being the fifth richest person in the world. Together, the trio of moguls would have a strong chance at the winning bid.
With a near certain unanimous vote from the NBA Board of Governors, there would be no bigger name in the media world than Oprah Winfrey. Earlier reports had former NBA great, Magic Johnson, who has a $50 million stake in the Los Angeles Dodgers as a potential buyer, but Johnson has denied rumors that he is an interested party. His comments on Twitter said that he is not trying to buy the Clippers franchise, stating that “they already have an owner.” While it is a denial, it does not completely close the door on the future possibilities.
If Oprah Winfrey, along with Geffen and Ellison win the bid and purchase the Los Angeles Clippers, it is yet to be determined who would have full control over the team. David Geffen has already said in an interview that Oprah has no interest in running the team, and that she believes it would be great for basketball to have a black American run the franchise. The past week of events will not go away anytime soon, and as a vote by the board will most likely lead to the sale of the team, the race will be on to find the new owners of the Clippers.
By Johnny Caito