Los Angeles Times sports writer Bill Plaschke is scratching his head, wondering how the woefully mediocre Los Angeles Clippers managed to garner a staggering $2 billion dollar offer from former Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer.
According to the Times, the deal for the team that is the distant #2 NBA basketball franchise in Los Angeles and has exactly zero championships or NBA finals under its belt was brokered by Clippers co-owner Shelly Sterling on Thursday.
Although Donald Sterling is still protesting that he will not give up the team, which he bought for $12.5 million in 1981, the new offer may provide a couple billion reasons why relinquishing ownership might not be such a bad idea. Ballmer, who has not received an official okay yet from the NBA, is expected to fly through the ownership process with ease. Last year he was vetted by the NBA as part of a group who unsuccessfully set out to buy the Sacramento Kings.
Plaschke contends that the team will have a hard time justifying the high price tag. He reasons that the Clipper fans are overshadowed by the more popular Los Angeles Lakers and that most Los Angeles sports fans don’t even know on which channel the Clippers play. Moreover, the popular LA sports writer points out that the Los Angeles Dodgers, who garner way more support than the Clippers, are having a tough time getting TV operators to buy their expensive game packages. In 2012, the Dodgers were purchased by a consortium, which includes Magic Johnson, for $2.15 billion.
Nevertheless, as far as Plaschke is concerned, the purchase is a good one for Los Angeles, because it rids the city and sports of Sterling, whom he loathes.