NBA great Grant Hill has teamed up with a pair of billionaire and longtime Southern California residents Tony Ressler and Bruce Karsh in order to be in position to make a bid for the Los Angeles Clippers when they are officially put up for sale, according to reports on May 24.
Disgraced current owner Donald Sterling reportedly authorized his wife, Shelly, to negotiate the sale of the team rather than having his ownership terminated. Sterling could receive a massive windfall of over $1 billion if the team is sold and he is able to keep the profits.
Sterling faces a hearing in front of the 29 NBA owner on June 3.
Hill, a seven-time All-Star, has only been retired for one season and finished his playing career with the Clippers in 2012-2013.
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 ESPN.com this week that the bidding could start as high as the $1.5 billion range.
Ressler, a long-time friend of Sterling, owns a private equity firm called Ares Management. He put a bid on the Los Angeles Dodgers, prior to the team being sold and is currently a minority owner of the Milwaukee Brewers. Karsh is president and co-founder of Oaktree Capital Management and currently serves a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors.
Competition for the Clippers, once they hit the open market, is sure to be fierce as there is believed to be 10 parties interested in purchasing the team.
The other interested parties reportedly include: Magic Johnson (team with Guggenheim partners) , Steve Ballmer,Larry Ellison group -- who could make a bid with Oprah Winfrey and David Geffen --, Los Angeles developer Rick Caruso, Patrick Soon-Shiong, Yao Ming’s group, Rihanna, Floyd Mayweather and Justin Bieber.