HoopsHype Owners rumors

June 14, 2014 Updates

In the wake of the Los Angeles Clippers selling for a league-record $2 billion, Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov has been open to overtures from potential buyers for the Brooklyn Nets, league sources told Yahoo Sports. "Just listening so far," a league official with direct knowledge told Yahoo Sports. "They haven't indicated a desire or willingness to sell. …Nothing was initiated by [Prokhorov]." Yahoo! Sports

Part of Prokhorov's willingness to listen has come out of his company's curiosity of how much his ownership share of the Nets and the Barclays Center could fetch on the market, league sources said. After the Sterling Family Trust sold the Clippers for $2 billion to Steve Ballmer, Prokhorov and his associates believe the combination of the Nets and Barclays Center major market location could net in the neighborhood of the Clippers sale, sources said. Less than five years ago, Prokhorov bought the Nets and a percentage of Barclays Center for $223 million. Prokhorov owns 80 percent of the Nets and 45 percent of the Barclays. Beginning in the 2015-16 season, the NHL's New York Islanders also will move into the arena. Yahoo! Sports

June 12, 2014 Updates

Michael Jordan is now a billionaire. In February, my colleague and the Dean of athlete earnings, Kurt Badenhausen, pegged Jordan’s annual earnings at $90 million and his net worth at $750 million. But I have learned from sources familiar with the Charlotte Hornets that the former NBA great has increased his stake in his basketball team to 89.5% from 80% during the past several months. Forbes.com

Jordan first became an investor in the Hornets (then the Bobcats) in 2006 and became the controlling owner in 2010 when he bought out Robert Johnson for $175 million. Sports bankers say the Hornets are presently worth between $600 million and $625 million. Forbes.com

On May 19, Dr. Meril Sue Platzer presented Donald Sterling with a set of basic tasks. She asked him to spell “world” backward. He could not. She asked him to count backward from 100 in increments of seven, and he failed to get past 93. He was unaware of the season and struggled to draw a clock. Donald Sterling’s mental capacity will be at the center of a hearing that will determine whether Shelly Sterling can sell the Clippers without her estranged husband’s approval. Orange County Register

Of his examination May 27, Spar wrote that Sterling acknowledged forgetting “names and streets” and occasionally getting confused upon exiting an elevator. While administering a connect-the-dots test that asks the patient to alternate between numbers and letters, Sterling became frustrated. Spar wrote that Sterling said “I can’t do it” and that he “threw the pen down and left the room.” Orange County Register

June 11, 2014 Updates

Shelly Sterling's lawyer ran to court this morning ... pleading with the judge to validate her deal to sell the Los Angeles Clippers to Steve Ballmer, and warning of dire consequences if the deal falls apart. In Shelly's legal docs -- obtained by TMZ Sports -- she says there's no way a better deal could be found. She points out the sale price for the Clippers is more than 3 times the price of the recently-sold Milwaukee Bucks. TMZ.com

Monday, Donald Sterling and his attorneys revoked that trust, essentially dissolving any agreements within it and moving all property to individual ownership stakes, according to one of Sterling’s attorneys. The move forced the action into probate court. Shelly Sterling and her lawyers are expected to try and reaffirm the trust in the eyes of the court Wednesday, paving the way for the sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. If Donald Sterling prevails, he and his attorneys affirmed he will not agree to a sale of the team. Orange County Register

Sterling, who received a lifetime ban and a $2.5 million fine from NBA commissioner Adam Silver after an audio recording that captured Sterling making a series of racist remarks became public, called the NBA “a band of hypocrites and bullies” and referred to the league as “despicable monsters.” The full text of Sterling’s screed — published by CNN — is below. SI.com

Sterling makes it clear that he will not go quietly. According to Samini, Sterling will go on a “crusade” to expose the NBA’s hypocrisy. “The NBA has a history of discriminatory practices which is supported by the numerous lawsuits filed by NBA employees claiming gender-based discrimination,” Sterling wrote. “(Commissioner) Adam Silver has worked for the NBA since 1992. He must know about the discriminatory practices of the NBA which are all matters of public record. The reason Adam Silver is focused on the sale, instead of the larger social issue, is because doing so would require him to examine the NBA’s own discriminatory practices including those that occurred under his many years in leadership. “…The NBA is a band of hypocrites and bullies. They will not stop until someone stands up. They have taken the liberty to desecrate my privacy rights and my right to own property.” Orange County Register

June 10, 2014 Updates

Ramona Shelburne: Blecher says btwn Shelly having him declared mentally incompetent & NBA's "intransigence" Donald I"decided it wasn’t worth doing the sale". Donald Sterling's lawyer Max Blecher says he thinks there's "about a 2 percent chance" a judge will find him mentally incompetent Twitter @ramonashelburne

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