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Sports

May 2, 2014

Famous bidders already lining up for LA Clippers

(Continued)

For a day, almost everybody seemed interested in being those buyers — and even entertainers without those limitless resources were clamoring for the chance.

Combs, Rick Ross and Snoop Dogg all aired their interest, as did longtime Clippers fan Frankie Muniz and Damon, who told CNBC he’d like to be a “super tiny minority investor.” Fans also got in on the frenzy, opening campaigns on Kickstarter and Crowdtilt to pool their resources for the club.

Mayweather spoke seriously about his interest while preparing for his fight with Marcos Maidana this Saturday, although Money May would have to curb his enthusiastic sports gambling habit. Oscar De La Hoya, the majority shareholder in Golden Boy Promotions whose statue sits outside Staples Center, volunteered himself as a part-owner.

“The league has made it known that it wants more minorities involved, and as a proud Mexican-American, I will bring a different perspective to the NBA in general, and the Clippers in particular,” De La Hoya said. “I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I know what it takes to run a successful sports entity.”

A vocal segment of the NBA’s social media following immediately started a campaign to move the Clippers to Seattle, a basketball-loving city that has been without a team since Clay Bennett moved the SuperSonics to Oklahoma City in 2008.

But much of the Clippers’ value results from their location in the nation’s second-largest city and their opportunity to sign a lucrative new television rights deal in 2016.

The Clippers’ association with Sterling’s racist remarks could have been crushing to their prestige and value, but they don’t seem to be a problem if Sterling is no longer associated with the club.

“The short term damage has been dramatic, but Commissioner (Adam) Silver provided a tourniquet that has stopped the brand erosion,” Carter said. “The NBA, working in conjunction with new ownership, will have an extraordinary opportunity to rehabilitate the team’s reputation, and then extend its brand.”

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