Billionaire media executive David Geffen is interested in buying the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, according to a person with knowledge of Geffen’s thinking, following a decision by National Basketball Association commissioner Adam Silver to ban Clipper owner Donald Sterling for life.
Silver said he would urge other NBA team owners to force Sterling to sell the pro franchise.
The NBA on Tuesday banned Sterling from the game for life and fined him $2.5 million for racist comments that drew a storm of outrage from players, fans, commercial sponsors and even President Barack Obama.
Geffen, who started two record labels and the Dreamworks film studio with Jeffrey Katzenberg and director Steven Spielberg, had expressed interest in the past in buying the Clippers but never made an offer.
He has a net worth of an estimated $6.2 billion, according to Forbes magazine.
Sterling, the longest-tenured owner of any of the 30 NBA teams, will be barred from any role in the operations of his team or be able to serve as one of the league’s governors, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said at a news conference in New York.
The controversy began over the weekend when the celebrity website TMZ.com released an audio recording ostensibly of Sterling criticizing a woman friend for associating with “black people.”
The recording included Sterling asking his friend not to invite former Los Angeles Laker star player Earvin “Magic” Johnson to games.
(Reporting By Ronald Grover; Editing by Chris Reese and Ken Wills)