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Oprah Winfrey is exploring the possibility of purchasing the Clippers.
“Oprah Winfrey is in discussions with David Geffen and Larry Ellison to make a bid for the Los Angeles Clippers should the team become available,” said Nicole Nichols, a spokesperson for Winfrey, in a statement.
The OWN Network founder could pair with music mogul Geffen and Oracle co-founder Ellison if a sale of the team is forced. On Tuesday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver pledged to force the sale of the Clippers after audio recordings of racist remarks made by owner Donald Sterling surfaced on TMZ days earlier.
Numerous suitors have already emerged to purchase the Los Angeles basketball franchise should a sale be forced and if Sterling does not choose to fight the move.
It has been speculated that Magic Johnson — who was singled out by Sterling during the audio recordings — has shown interest in the team, though he denied as much in a tweet on Monday. “I am not trying to buy the Clippers, they already have an owner,” he wrote.
Sterling, who has owned the Clippers franchise since 1981, faces a ban from attending all NBA games as well as making any business decisions for the team.
The team’s current value is estimated at $575 million, according to a Forbes ranking in January 2014. With the value of television rights rising, however, the team could fetch a higher price.
“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,” Silver said on Tuesday during a press conference.
“We wholeheartedly support and embrace the decision,” read a statement from Clippers president Andy Roeser. “Now the healing process begins.”
Hours after Silver’s statement, the Clippers — touting the motto “We Are One” throughout the Staples Center — prevailed against the Golden State Warriors 113-103 during the first round NBA playoff series.
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The Fien Print
William Jackson Harper