Three people who have $60 billion in walking-around money — give or take a million — zoomed straight to the top of the list of prospective buyers of the Los Angeles Clippers, who are extremely likely to up for sale soon.
Oprah Winfrey, along entertainment mogul David Geffen and Larry Ellison of America’s Cup fame, is serious about this, prompting all sorts of delicious notions of just what Winfrey would bring to the table. “A car for you! And you! And you! …” Sadly, she would not be running the team and helping players become their most authentic selves.
“Oprah is not interested in running the team,” Geffen told ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap. “She thinks it would be a great thing for an important black American to own [another] franchise. The team deserves a better group of owners who want to win. Larry would sooner die than fail. I would sooner die than fail. Larry’s a sportsman. We’ve talked about this for a long time. Between the three of us, we have a good shot.”
If NBA owners can convince Donald Sterling to sell, the WEG group would face serious competition. Floyd Mayweather Jr., Oscar de la Hoya, Dr. Dre, P. Diddy, Rick Ross were among the first to throw their hats into the ring. And, of course, there’s always the possibility that Magic Johnson will join in the fun.
Still, the WEG group would be fun and at least two members have real, serious interest in the sport itself, rather than in just the celebrity aspect of sport ownership. Geffen and Ellison have long wanted to own an NBA team, with Geffen making an unsuccessful run at the team in 2010. For better or worse, Ellison’s Oracle Team USA helped transform yacht racing and delivered a stirring America’s Cup victory last September. Both of them, along with Oprah, might be just the ticket to erase the awful Sterling years.
“I’m a fan,” Geffen said. “I bring something to the table, it’s fun and I can afford it.”