Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E Sports) – A group led by talk show host Oprah Winfrey is planning to buy the Los Angeles Clippers if the NBA board of governors votes to force Donald Sterling to sell the team.
Aside from Winfrey, the other members of the group are David Geffen and Larry Ellison.
Geffen told ESPN that he and Ellison would run the team, while Winfrey would be an investor.
“Oprah is not interested in running the team,” Geffen said. “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,” he added.
Later, Winfrey’s spokesperson, Nicole Nichols confirmed Geffen’s claim.
“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,” Nichols said.
Geffen, a music and film mogul with a net worth that Forbes estimates at $6.2 billion, reportedly tried to buy at least a controlling stake in the Clippers in 2010 for $600 million but was rebuffed by Sterling.
Geffen said that LeBron James was interested in playing in Los Angeles when he was a free agent in 2010 and that James, who ultimately signed with the Miami Heat, told him he would not play for Sterling.
“[The] reasons are perfectly clear,” said Geffen, would not specifically disclose why James didn’t want to play for Sterling.
“I’m a fan. I bring something to the table, it’s fun and I can afford it,” Geffen said. “I live in L.A., that’s one thing that makes it attractive.”
Geffen said he and Ellison, the CEO of Oracle, a business software and technology company, were also interested in buying the Los Angeles Lakers, but the team wasn’t for sale.