LA Clippers Already on the Auction Block: Offers Run Over $1 Billion

Although there remains some doubt about whether or not the Clippers are for sale — as owner Donald Sterling seems to alternate between acquiescence and animosity the same way most people alternate between knives and forks — at least three serious offers for the Los Angeles Clippers have emerged, according to the Los Angeles Times. Of those, the Times specifically singled out the Ressler-Karsh-Hill group as one of the bidders in the initial round, an investment group featuring Tony Ressler, head of the private equity group Ares Manage, investor Bruce Karsh, and former NBA Player and current host of NBA TV’s Inside Stuff, Grant Hill. The group reportedly bid $1.2 billion dollars, fitting in with the billion-and-up evaluation most pundits had given the final sale price.

Steve Ballmer, one of the principle partners in last year’s efforts to buy the Sacramento Kings and turn them into the new Seattle Supersonics, has reportedly made a bid of $1.8 billion dollars. He said that he would not seek to move the team from Los Angeles. Shelly Sterling, a co-owner of the Clippers, had been given permission to sell the team by her husband, despite his recent renewed fervor toward suing the league.

The future ownership of the Clippers by Donald Sterling was put into question after a taped conversation he had with a woman referred to as V. Stivano was leaked to TMZ. In the tape, Sterling, who has faced prior allegations of racial discrimination both in regards to his actions as the owner of the Clippers and as a landlord in Southern California, is heard telling Stivano that he doesn’t want her to bring black people to “his games,” meaning the Clippers. He also described his relationship with the team by saying that, “I support them and give them food, and clothes, and cars, and houses. Who gives it to them? Does someone else give it to them?”