There is no doubt that Donald Sterling is unfit to be an owner of an NBA franchise. The NBA will probably do all it can over the next couple of months or years to force him to sell the Los Angeles Clippers. While there aren’t legal grounds for Sterling to be forced into selling the team, the league can and will do everything short of forcing a sale to convince Sterling to move on. And what do you know, a Laker legend and current Dodgers owner is prepared to step up to the plate.
According to Yahoo Sports Adrian Wojnarowski, Magic Johnson and his Guggenheim Baseball Partners are interested in purchasing the Los Angeles Clippers and are preparing for the possibility of the Clippers becoming available.
Magic Johnson and his partners want to buy Clippers, sources tell Y! NBA, Sterling have their exit strategy. Column: http://t.co/9lSOaHAuwe
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) April 28, 2014
There is no doubt that transferring ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers from Donald Sterling to Magic Johnson would be a step in the right direction for the NBA. Any time you can bring in one of the most legendary players back into the league as an executive it is good for business. Also, adding another minority owner to the NBA would be a welcomed addition. Magic Johnson and the Guggenheim Partners have proved that they are more than capable owners and would bring credibility to the Clippers organization.
It is a bit ironic that Johnson was prominently featured in the Sterling audio recordings and may end up benefitting from being discriminated against. It’s a unique situation that I don’t believe has ever been seen before. Wouldn’t it be fitting if Sterling, who didn’t want his girlfriend posing for an Instagram photo with Johnson, was forced to sell his beloved Clippers to Johnson. That’s some sweet irony. Magic would be an incredibly welcomed addition to the Clippers and the NBA.
What we don’t know is how Magic Johnson would be received by fans of the Los Angeles Lakers. We know the fans of the Dodgers won’t care much as long as their team was being attended to, as it has been so far under the leadership of Mark Walter, Stan Kasten and Johnson. However, Laker fans may not take too kindly to Johnson “jumping ship” to the cross-hallway rivals. This certainly represents an huge opportunity for Johnson and the Guggenheim Partners. The Clippers have two of the top ten players in the NBA, one of the best coaches in the NBA, and play in one of the best markets in America. However, would Johnson really be able to leave his allegiance to the Laker organization in order to purchase the “other team” in Los Angeles?
It would be a difficult pill for Johnson to swallow and an incredibly bitter pill for Laker fans to swallow. Johnson is the most respect Los Angeles Laker of all-time and a favorite of Dr. Jerry Buss, who is inarguably the greatest owner in the history of professional sports. It would be hard for the Laker fans to understand how Johnson could abandon the Buss family, who is going through it’s own public relations issues while trying to stabilize the organization following the death of Dr. Buss. Magic has always made a point of being part of the Lakers organization through thick and thin. Johnson has also owned part of the Lakers before. He’s a self proclaimed “Laker for Life”.
Would he really turn his back on Laker fans in order to purchase the Clippers? While it would certainly be a fantastic business move for himself, the Guggenheim Partners, and the NBA, I’m not convinced that Johnson would turn his back on the only basketball organization he has ever known. But one thing is for sure, the NBA and the city of Los Angeles would be in a much better place if Donald Sterling was replaced by Magic Johnson as the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.