Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was banned from any involvement in the National Basketball Association for the rest of his life and could also be forced to sell his team, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced Tuesday.
Sterling will also be fined $2.5 million for making racist comments in asking his girlfriend to not bring black people to Clippers games. The comments were leaked to TMZ in an audio recording. The league later confirmed that the comments were spoken by Sterling.
Sterling is one of the largest owners of apartment buildings in Los Angeles and the Business Journal estimated his net worth at $3.35 billion. He could be forced to sell the Clippers if there is a vote in favor of that outcome by three-fourths of the league’s owners.
At least two local billionaires have expressed interest in acquiring the team.
A spokeswoman for Rick Caruso has confirmed the billionaire real estate developer’s interest in buying the L.A. Clippers is real, should the basketball team become available.
Caruso yesterday told TMZ Sports that after making a bid for the L.A. Dodgers in 2012, he’s prepared to take the leap to buy a local team again.
“We have a group still together from when we looked at the Dodgers,” he said, “and if it makes sense, I’ll take a shot at it.”
David Geffen also expressed interest in the Clippers, telling Forbes he “would very much like to buy the team.” And the group that owns the Dodgers, including Guggenheim Partners and Magic Johnson, was also said to be interested.
For more of the story, read the New York Times and ESPN articles.