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.
Related: Clippers Playoff Game Expected To Clock Big Ratings After Owner Banned For Life
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. Read More »
Tonight’s NBA playoff game at Staples Center on TNT has just been guaranteed a ratings spike after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver today hammered Clippers owner Donald Sterling with a lifetime ban from the NBA, fined him $2.5 million, and asked other NBA team owners to force Sterling to sell the team, adding he will “do everything in my power to insure that happens.” Silver said it will take a 3/4 vote by owners in favor of forcing Sterling to sell to make it happen. Asked if Sterling could remain owner if 3/4 of the owners do not vote to oust the real-estate magnet, Silver responded confidently, “I fully expect to get the support I need from the other NBA owners to remove him.”
The biggest TV audience so far for the 2014 NBA Playoffs : 4.73 million viewers clocked Sunday afternoon’s game on TNT. Overall the playoffs are averaging about 3.8 million.
Silver, who’s been commissioner just three months, had been expected to come down on Sterling with the maximum allowable punishment for the racist rant, in which Sterling forbade his mistress from posing for photos with black people or bringing them to Clippers games. During the news conference in NY, Silver apologized to Clippers players and coach Doc Rivers, as well as fans and “partners” of the NBA, saying “the views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful.”
A couple hours after Silver’s news conference ended, syndicated TV show Access Hollywood announced Sterling’s mistress, V. Stiviano, had “spoken out in an exclusive statement” to the program:
“It’s not about Mr. Sterling. It’s about global issues that affects us as a nation as a whole,” she said in the statement, adding, “My story is bigger than racism in sports.”
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