Who will buy the Clippers? Oprah Winfrey, Diddy, Magic Johnson interested

Unanimous vote expected to force Sterling to sell the team.

Published 01 May 2014  |  
AP
Oprah Winfrey

Hollywood's elite are rushing to express their interest in buying the soon-to-be purchasable Los Angeles Clippers basketball team.

Since NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced current owner Donald Sterling's lifetime ban on Monday night, celebrities have released statements through their reps and tweeted their desire to purchase the winning team.

Sterling is expected to be removed as owner because of audiotapes leaked to the press in which he makes racist statements. While speaking to then-girlfriend V. Stiviano, Sterling tells her not to bring black people to Clippers games, and not to take pictures with blacks.

Sterling was fined $2.5 million, banned from all NBA games and practices for life, and his team will be for sale, if NBA owners decide in a three-fourths vote to eject him. The vote is expected to be unanimous.

Magic Johnson and billionaire investment firm Guggenheim Partners were mentioned early after the scandal erupted as being interested in buying the team. It was Stiviano's Instagram photo with Johnson and a female friend that set off Sterling's rant.

Johnson confirmed his interest in buying the Clippers during a Wednesday business conference.

"I will be owning an NBA team sometime," Johnson said. "Is the Clippers the right situation? Of course. It's one of the premiere franchises."

The Clippers broke a franchise record last month after clenching their 57th victory. They are currently in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.

The success of the Clippers was also noticed by Oprah Winfrey, who is interested in purchasing the team in partnership with a billionaire businessman and a music mogul.

"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," a Winfrey spokesperson said in a statement.

Another music mogul interested in the team, is Bad Boy CEO Sean "Diddy" Combs.

"I will always be a Knicks fan, but I am a business man. #DiddyBuyTheClippers #NameYourPrice," he tweeted.

Also expressing interest in the team are hip-hop artist Rick Ross, boxers Floyd Mayweather and Oscar De La Hoya, and billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad.

A date for the NBA owners' vote to remove Sterling as owner has not been announced.

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