One day after telling TMZ — the media outlet of record on Donald Sterling’s Racist Remarks story — she is not interested in buying the Sterling-owned Los Angeles Clippers, Oprah Winfrey let it be known she is interested in buying the NBA team. Because that kind of publicity is a terrible thing to waste. “No, I won’t be buying the Clippers, but I hear Magic Johnson might be,” Oprah told TMZ on Tuesday, after greeting its representative with a chatty, “Chai it up! Chai it up!” – because Oprah’s also got a new drink to sell, in partnership with Starbucks.
Oprah was cast as the lead in the Whither Goest Clippers saga this morning when ESPN reported she was interested in making a bid for the team with David Geffen, whose interest in buying the team was yesterday’s news – and far less sexy, based on media pickup. Geffen made an unsuccessful bid for the team a few years ago, sans Oprah. Also yesterday’s news: Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who today is said to be part of the Team Oprah bid to buy the team that is not for sale but which NBA commissioner Adam Silver has forecast will soon be, because he’s that confident he can line up three-quarters of team owners needed to vote to force Sterling to sell.
“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,” an Oprah rep said today.
Also on the list of Celebrities Who Just Might Be Interested In Buying The Clippers If Silver Makes Good On His Promise To Compel Sterling To Sell – though none of them holds a candle to Oprah — are Magic (as Oprah reported to TMZ) as well as boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., and Patrick Soon-Shiong (aka Richest Man in Los Angeles), who previously made runs at the Dodgers and AEG Live and is a Lakers investor.
Meanwhile, Sterling’s mistress, V. Stiviano, to whom he made his racist remarks, held an impromptu news conference outside a Los Angeles restaurant last night, in which she said she intends to become “President of the United States of America” in order to “change the legislation and laws.” The cable news networks did not pounce on that announced candidacy.
In case you’re starting a list of Industry Moguls Who Aren’t Interested In Buying The Clippers, CBS Corp CEO Leslie Moonves, said today at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills that while he watches more ESPN than CBS these days, he has no intention to buy the team. Of course, that’s what Oprah said yesterday – after “Chai It Up!”