Winfrey is considering teaming with music mogul David Geffen and Oracle founder Larry Ellison to make a bid for the NBA team, sources told ESPN on Wednesday.
The 60-year-old talk show host/media icon has been vocal in her criticism of Sterling, who Tuesday was banned for life from the NBA by commissioner Adam Silver. Winfrey told CBS (via Politico) before Silver’s announcement that she saw Sterling’s racist views as a “plantation mentality in the 21st century” and believed the league should ban him for life.
Geffen told Forbes on Tuesday that he “would very much like to buy the team” if Sterling is forced to sell.
UPDATE (1:17 p.m.): Geffen confirmed the group’s desire to buy the Clippers in an interview with ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap. Geffen and Ellison would run the team, Geffen said, and Winfrey would be an investor.
“Oprah is not interested in running the team,” Geffen said. “She thinks it would be a great thing for an important black American to own (another) franchise.
“The team deserves a better group of owners, who want to win. Larry would sooner die than fail. I would sooner die than fail. Larry’s a sportsman, we’ve talked about this for a long time. Between the three of us, we have a good shot.”
UPDATE (5:40 p.m.): Winfrey’s spokesperson, Nicole Nichols, issued a statement, confirming Geffen’s report.
“Oprah Winfrey is in discussions with David Geffen and Larry Ellison to make a bid for the Los Angeles Clippers should the team become available,” Nichols said in the statement, via ESPN.com.
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