Would you ever want to be part of the ownership for an NBA team? Absolutely. Would it have to be the Bulls, or would it have to be somebody else? Well, you know, I know [Jerry] Reinsdorf pretty good—he’s not giving that thing up anytime soon. But I have fantasized about being able to put together a team and how much fun that would be. I think it’d be terrific.
Former Clippers owner Donald Sterling lost his appeal Monday to regain the team his estranged wife sold last year for a record $2 billion after he was booted from the NBA for making discriminatory remarks about black people. The 2nd District Court of Appeal said Shelly Sterling properly removed her husband from a family trust that owned the team and that the sale to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer prevented the trust from an “extraordinary loss.” Shelly Sterling took control of the family trust after a recording surfaced of Donald Sterling making offensive comments to a young girlfriend about black people and other minorities.
The appeals court said Donald Sterling failed to show the judge committed any legal error. The three-judge panel also noted that before Sterling refused to sign off on the sale he had congratulated his wife on the price she negotiated. “Wow, you really did a good job,” he exclaimed. The price was $400 million above the next-best offer and far above what anyone thought the team, a perennial loser that was on the rise, would fetch.
Jon Krawczynski: For years Glen Taylor has wanted to bring in a minority partner who would ride shotgun for a few years before taking over the team. He had been largely unsuccessful in finding someone willing to do that. Any interested bidder has wanted to purchase team outright. Very recently, several parties have stepped forward willing to go along with a plan that would allow Glen to own team for a few more years. One of those parties, as @Adrian Wojnarowski reported, is Steve Kaplan. They have had discussions about a minority stake for him.
Jon Krawczynski: There are several other interested parties who have also come to town, had discussions with Glen. A decision does not appear to be imminent. There is no timetable for a transaction to take place. I get the sense we’re in early stages.
Jon Krawczynski: It remains unclear how a deal with Kaplan, or any other group, would affect KG’s stated desires to get into ownership. It does not mean that KG will not be an owner, eventually. But one would think it would make the path a little thornier. Again, these talks could drag on the whole season, KG could retire, and get in with a group of his own. Or maybe whoever does buy in could try to bring KG in as a minority investor as well. So many dominoes yet to fall in this.
Jon Krawczynski: The name Jason Levien has not come up in talks Kaplan has had with team officials. Doesn’t mean he’s not involved. But hasn’t come up. And finally, whether Kaplan or another bidder buys a minority stake of Wolves, it by no means guarantees he will become majority owner.