Two billion dollars is a lot of money, especially when it comes to sports teams, so when news broke Thursday that Shelly Sterling, the wife of disgraced Clippers owner Donald Sterling, reached a deal with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to sell the Clippers for $2 billion, society collectively gasped and offered an eye-popping look of shock and awe. That’s nearly as high as the cost to buy one of the most venerated sports teams of all time, the Los Angeles Dodgers, for which the Guggenheim partners (with Magic Johnson) paid $2.1 billion. And in terms of basketball value, well, $2 billion is unheard of. According to Forbes, the highest-valued basketball team is the New York Knicks, worth about $1.4 billion.
So, let’s put $2 billion in perspective, just to make sure Ballmer, who sits at a cushy No. 34 on Forbes’ richest people in the world list with a net worth of $20 billion, knows what else $2 billion could buy.
14 of the most expensive painting ever sold at auction, a triptych by Francis Bacon of his friend and fellow artist Lucien Freud. It sold at Christie’s last year for roughly $142 million.
91 years of rent on Virgin CEO Richard Branson’s luxury private resort, Necker Island, which costs $60,000 per night.
Nearly two U.S. presidential political campaigns. In 2012, President Obama spent $1.123 billion and Mitt Romney went through $1.019 billion, Politico reports.
Two of the world’s most expensive home, which exists in a tricked-out 550-foot-high, 27-story tower in downtown Mumbai, India. It is owned by Mukesh Ambani, head of the petrochemical giant Reliance Industries and one of the richest people in the world. The “home” includes a 168-car garage, three helipads, nine elevators, a temple, a 50-seat movie theater, an “ice-room” dusted with man-made snow flurries, a four-story garden and more in its 400,000 square feet of living space, Vanity Fair reports.
Eight Washington Post newspaper companies. Amazon founder and entrepreneur Jeff Bezos bought the paper for $250 million in 2013.
So, is Ballmer making a smart decision?