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News

The Long List Of Rich People Interested In Buying The Clippers

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Left to right: David Geffen (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images); Larry Ellison (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images); Oprah Winfrey (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for SBIFF)
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Ever since news broke that Donald Sterling had been barred from the NBA, the rumormill about who might—or who should—make a bid to buy the Clippers has kicked into overdrive. Any and all notable rich people (particularly those with any sort of pop culture cred or Los Angeles ties) are assumed to have an interest in buying the Clippers until they say otherwise.

One Dream Team rumored to be teaming up includes Larry Ellison and David Geffen along with Oprah Winfrey, according to ESPN. Geffen has been open about his interest in the team—he even tried to buy a controlling stake in the Clippers at one point though he was rebuffed by Sterling. Ellison has shopped around for sports team before. And Oprah, ESPN says, could "draw the interest of some of the world's wealthiest people."

Area rich people Rick Caruso and Patrick Soon-Shiong have expressed interest in buying the team or going in with a group. In the hip hop world, Dr. Dre, Rick Ross and Diddy say they're possible contenders. In the boxing world, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Oscar De La Hoya have said they're game.

The one person who said he's not interested is veteran sports team buyer Magic Johnson:

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You have to admit: it could be uncomfortable for Johnson to write out a check to a guy who is on record saying he doesn't want Johnson in his mistress' Instagrams because of the color of his skin.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver has already effectively barred Sterling from day-to-day operations of the team and fined him $2.5 million. Silver also is trying to force Sterling to sell the team—a move that would require votes from 75% of the owners of other NBA franchises. The Associated Press contacted 24 of 30 teams to ask for their vote, and 16 said they are all for ousting Sterling. Eight declined to comment. But Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive told ESPN that he expects that to happen: "I would be surprised if this was not a unanimous vote. The owners are amazing people -- they're color-blind -- and I fully expect a unanimous vote." But Sterling, who is known for being litigious, could fight his ouster and make things difficult for the franchise and the NBA until his dying days.

One uncomfortable truth is that if Sterling chooses not to fight, he stands to make quite a bit of money from the sale. The Clippers have been rising in popularity, and they have stars like Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. ESPN.com NBA editor Kevin Arnovitz told Marketplace, "If you're looking for a glass half-empty here, he bought the team for $12 million. He's looking at a payday here of maybe $1 billion."

With that sum, just think about how many more slums he could buy and rent out to white people.