Oprah Winfrey is at the center of an empire that includes stakes in a cable network and a glitzy magazine. Is she about to add a major sports team to her holdings?
“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,” said Nicole Nichols, a spokeswoman for the lifestyle guru, in a statement. The Wall Street Journal previously reported Winfrey’s interest in the team.
The Los Angeles Clippers are widely seen as being in play — the mergers-and-acquisitions kind, that is — after National Basketball Association commissioner Adam Silver ruled that current owner Donald Sterling was banned from the league after being caught on tape uttering racist remarks about African-Americans. According to Silver, Sterling verified his voice was the one heard on the recording. Silver has said he will try to get NBA owners to press for a sale of the Clippers, which Sterling has held for decades.
Geffen told ESPN on Wednesday that Oprah is “not interested in running the team,” remarking, “She thinks it would be a great thing for an important black American to own (another) franchise.”
“The team deserves a better group of owners who want to win,” he added. “Larry would sooner die than fail. I would sooner die than fail. Larry’s a sportsman. We’ve talked about this for a long time. Between the three of us, we have a good shot.”