Magic Johnson interested in buying Clippers: Report

CNBC.com staff
April 28, 2014

As the National Basketball Association investigates the alleged racist comments of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, Magic Johnson and his billionaire backers, the Guggenheim Partners, are reportedly "absolutely interested" in purchasing the embattled team, Yahoo Sports said Monday.

In a recording attributed to Sterling and posted on the website TMZ, a male voice questions his girlfriend's association with minorities.

The man asks the woman not to broadcast her association with black people or bring black people to games. The man specifically mentions Lakers Hall of Famer Magic Johnson on the recording, saying, "Don't bring him to my games, OK?"

There has still been no official confirmation that Sterling is on the tape.

For NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, the handover to Johnson and his partners is the best possible solution right now, the report said citing sources with knowledge of the matter.

The league on Monday said it will hold a news conference on Tuesday to discuss the investigation. NBA spokesman Mike Bass said additional details will be announced, though it's unclear when that may happen.

Read More Comments of Clippers owner 'racist': Obama

The purchase would make Johnson, who with his partners already owns the Los Angeles Dodgers, the face of two championship contenders. It would also offer the NBA and Sterling a way out as major sponsors cut ties on Monday.

Insurance giant State Farm said it dropped its affiliation with the team. "The remarks attributed to the Clippers' owner are offensive. While those involved sort out the facts, we will be taking a pause in our relationship with the organization," State Farm representatives told CNBC.

CarMax also ended sponsorship ties with the Clippers. "These views directly conflict with CarMax's culture of respect for all individuals ... these statements necessitate that CarMax end its sponsorship," the company said.

Also terminating its relationship was Virgin America. "While we continue to support the fans and the players, Virgin America has made the decision to end its sponsorship of the L.A. Clippers," an airline spokesperson said.

And Kia Motors America severed its ties. "The comments allegedly made by Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, are offensive and reprehensible, and they are inconsistent with our views and values. We are suspending our advertising and sponsorship activations with the Clippers. Meanwhile, as fans of the game of basketball, our support of the players and the sport is unwavering."

Click here to read the full report from Yahoo Sports.

-By CNBC.com staff. The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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