LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — An ownership group led by Earvin “Magic” Johnson may be interested in purchasing the Los Angeles Clippers in the event that owner Donald Sterling is asked or forced to sell the team over alleged racist comments, according to a Yahoo Sports report.
League sources cited by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports said the Guggenheim Partners group have signaled their interest in the team following the release of an audio recording that allegedly captures Sterling telling a female friend not to bring Johnson or other African-Americans to Clippers games.
“Magic’s absolutely interested,” a source described as “closely connected to Johnson’s business interests” reportedly told Wojnarowski.
Johnson – who is currently part of the ownership group of the Los Angeles Dodgers – was also previously interested in purchasing the Los Angeles Lakers, but was rebuffed by owner Jerry Buss and the Buss family, according to reports.
Johnson and his backers bought the Dodgers in March 2012 for a reported $2 billion.
The NBA announced officials will hold a news conference to make an announcement about its investigation regarding Sterling, according to league spokesman Mike Bass.
If such a deal were eventually approved, it could make for a smooth transition and allow the NBA to sweep Sterling’s tenure under the rug, CBS News reported.
But the NBA currently has no authority to force the sale of the team and the process of extracting it in order to initiate a sale to Johnson could take some time, according to the report.