Grant Hill, Yao Ming among possible future co-owners of LA Clippers

la-clippers-logoBy the papers, Donald Sterling is still the owner of the LA Clippers, while the NBA is pushing him to sell the team following a huge racism-related scandal that sent negative waves all over the league.

Sterling is still fighting to keep the team, which already has people interested in buying it from the current owner.

Former NBA All-Star Grant Hill has formed an ownership group to bid on the Los Angeles Clippers when they are officially put up for sale, according to sources close to the process.

Sources told that Hill’s group is already regarded by league officials as a viable contender for the Clippers in what is forecast to be a highly competitive auction when the franchise finally hits the open market. One industry source told this week that the bidding could start as high as the $1.5 billion range.

It was widely reported recently that disgraced Clippers owner Donald Sterling has struck an agreement with wife Shelly to have her negotiate the sale of the franchise, but NBA officials have not yet signed off on that arrangement and continue to proceed with their plans to press for the outright ouster of the Sterlings from the league.

Hill is just completing his first season in retirement after a 19-year career that featured seven All-Star appearances. With his size (6-8, 225) and versatile skills, Hill was chosen by the Detroit Pistons in the 1994 NBA draft. He was named co-rookie of the year, with Kidd, for the 1994-95 season, averaging 19.9 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.8 steals.

He maintained similar numbers in his six seasons with the Pistons, including 21.4 points, 9.0 rebounds and 7.3 assists in 1996-97. He was named first-team All-NBA for the first and only time in his career that season. Hill appeared in 1026 NBA games (972 started), averaging 16.7 points, 6 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.2 steals in 33.9 minutes of playing time.

Hill was a 1996 Olympic gold medal winner with team USA, he also won two NCAA championships during an All-America career at Duke in the early 1990′s.

Competition for the Clippers, once they hit the open market, is sure to be fierce, with a number of financial heavyweights having already been linked to purchasing the team Donald Sterling has owned since 1981.

The power trio of Oprah Winfrey, David Geffen and Larry Ellison, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Los Angeles developer Rick Caruso, Lakers minority owner Patrick Soon-Shiong, former NBA star Yao Ming and, of course, Hall of Famer Magic Johnson and his Guggenheim Partners are among the various groups and individuals expected to compete for LA Clippers at Staples Center.

Some experts have projected the number of bidders for the Clippers to stray into the double digits, assuming that the league is successful in forcing the sale of the team, as NBA commissioner Adam Silver continues to believe.

On April 25, 2014, TMZ Sports released what it said is an April 9, 2014 audio recording of a conversation between Sterling and his girlfriend or former girlfriend.

Sterling was recorded making racist and outrageous statements in the conversation. An NBA investigation, determined the voice to be authentic. Following the investigation, NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life and fined him $2.5 million after a firestorm of controversy.

The move was praised by many former NBA players, including Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Kevin Johnson, Charles Barkley and others.


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