HoopsHype Larry Ellison rumors

July 14, 2010 Updates

It's down to Oracle king Larry Ellison and venture capitalist Joseph Lacob for control of the Warriors, Marcus Thompson of the Contra Costa Times reports. Ellison can crush almost anyone he chooses, and not just in the basketball world, but he could decide the price tag is a bad deal and back out. Either way, the winner will be extremely popular, just for not being Cohan. If Ellison or Lacob wants to jump right to being nominated for sainthood, he will approach Chris Mullin about returning to the organization. It wouldn't be as head of basketball operations, and not sure if Mullin would accept a secondary role even if it means being able to live in what basically has been his home since leaving St. John's. But the reunion would be greeted by a roar of approval. NBA.com

Billionaire software titan Larry Ellison is close to acquiring the Warriors from the team's current owner, Chris Cohan, sources close to the negotiations said Tuesday night. According to those sources, Ellison, CEO of Oracle Corp., outbid 24-Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov, among others. If the current deal is completed, Ellison would control 80 percent of the franchise, and incumbent minority owners Michael Marks, Jim Davidson, John Thompson and Fred Harman would retain their stakes. San Francisco Chronicle

Sources vary greatly on the final price tag, ranging from those who believe Ellison will uphold his initial $315 million bid to others who think the price tag will top the $401 million cost, the NBA record, of the Phoenix Suns in 2004. There are sources who believe the deal was completed late Tuesday night in negotiations in New York, and others who merely characterized the conclusion as "imminent." Among the things sources agree upon is that Ellison submitted the winning bid and that, as a potential owner who was pre-approved by the league, his takeover shouldn't encounter obstacles after the deal is finalized. San Francisco Chronicle

But, as was frequently pointed out to me by multiple sources throughout the process, there was one way to quicken that pace: If Ellison made a drop-dead bid, and if Cohan took it. And this isn’t August. We’re weeks away from August. If there’s a deal to be announced, it’ll have Ellison’s name on it. What of the talk of Mark Mastrov’s group getting into the lead, and the uncertain word about exactly who the two finalists were? (MT-2 has done KILLER reporting on this, all the way.) I’ve heard that the Ellison group mainly considered the ”finalist” talk of the past few weeks as “misdirection.” It was always Ellison and the 20%-ers who had the main line into ownership and I think we’re seeing that bear out. San Jose Mercury-News

July 13, 2010 Updates

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