If the Clippers were ever put up for sale, would Magic Johnson would be interested in purchasing the franchise should he receive financial support from Guggenheim Partners?
Clippers owner Donald Sterling has come under intense criticism amid making racially charged comments purportedly made in an audio recording obtained by TMZ. In that recording, Sterling purportedly told a female companion both to stop posing for pictures with Johnson and not to bring black people to his games at Staples Center.
The NBA plans to have a press conference in New York where its league offices are located on Tuesday to announce findings from their investigation.
“There’s nothing for sale and nothing to consider at all,” said a person familiar with Johnson’s thinking.
The subplot to this story: Johnson won five NBA championships with the Showtime Lakers and could help their crosstown rival. The move would not be made without precedent.
Pat Riley, the current Miami Heat president, coached both the New York Knicks and Miami after coaching the Showtime Lakers. Former Lakers player and executive Jerry West worked in various front office roles with Memphis and Golden State. Phil Jackson became the Knicks’ president this year after winning five of his 11 NBA championships with the Lakers.
Johnson sold his 4.5-percent ownership stake with the Lakers in 2010 and remains an unpaid vice president Johnson then became part of Guggenheim Partners, the investment group that bought the Dodgers in 2012. In February, Johnson’s ownership group also purchased the WNBA’s Sparks.
“I believe once Commissioner Silver does his due diligence and he gets all of the information, he’s got to come down hard,” Johnson said Sunday on ABC’s “NBA Countdown.” “He shouldn’t own a team anymore. And, he should stand up and say ‘I don’t want to own a team anymore,’ especially when you have African-Americans renting his apartments, coming to his games, playing for him and coaching for him. This is bad for everybody. This is bad for America. I’m really upset about it.”
Johnson has been consistently criticized the Lakers’ struggles, including vice president of player personnel Jim Buss. There has long been a feeling among NBA circles that Johnson had been trying to position himself to purchase the Lakers. But source familiar with Johnson’s thinking said he has no intention in making any efforts to own the Lakers. The Lakers have remained adamant that ownership will stay within the Buss family following Dr. Buss’ passing last February.
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