As NBA Commissioner Adam Silver mulls over potential punishments for Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling in light of his recent racist comments, a more permanent exit strategy has surfaced in regards to exiling Sterling from the league altogether.
According to Yahoo! Sports, Los Angeles Dodgers owner Magic Johnson and his financial conglomerate, the Guggenheim Partners, have interest in purchasing the Clippers. One source close to the situation said Johnson is “absolutely interested.”
Not only would the deal help the NBA save face after one of — if not — worst off-the-court cases in league history, it could also alter the power balance of basketball in Los Angeles, according to insider Adrian Wojnarowski.
Magic Johnson is the ultimate cleanser in sports, and steering a Clippers sale to him could be transformative for the franchise. Truth be told, it could change the balance of basketball power in Los Angeles forever. To keep Doc Rivers as president and coach, to hold together the core of a championship contender and keep building it, Magic can make it happen.
Per the report, the deal could earn Sterling a $1 billion-plus takeaway for the franchise. It’s a strong compensation for an owner that will never be able to clear his name in NBA circles again and should not have a future with the league.
The rest of the NBA owners want Sterling to be removed from his post and are pushing Silver to find a way.
“If the owners can’t force [Sterling] to sell, they need to be held accountable to change the bylaws so they can,” one member of the NBA’s Board of Governors told Yahoo! Sports. “A fine and suspension is meaningless, and that’ll be seen as a lack of acceptance that the league and owners are responsible for this ass—-.”
The Guggenheim Partners have been aggressive in their attempts to purchase Los Angeles sports franchises. The team made a push for the Los Angeles Lakers, but the Buss Family was clear that the franchise was not for sale. The group purchased the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks when the franchise was pressed for financial help, and Johnson and Co. were quick to come to its relief.
On Sunday night, Johnson argued Sterling should lose the Clippers.
“I think (Sterling) should step down. If you feel like that in a league that is predominately African Amercians, you shouldn’t be owning a team.”
“It’s a shame because of the fact at this time, here we are now in 2014, we still are having people discriminating against African Americans. That’s uncalled for and has no place in the NBA.”
Now it’s time to wait to see how Silver decides to act, and how soon Johnson can make a bid on the team.