The $2 billion deal to sell the Los Angeles Clippers is a record price for a basketball team. It also makes for a happy story because the sale of the Clippers means there are a lot of winners:
“Well, certainly, Donald and Rochelle Sterling,” the team’s original owners who bought the Clippers decades ago for $12 million dollars, says Andy Zimbalist, a sports economist at Smith College. He says the team and the NBA are also winners.
“Because having a retrograde embarrassing owner who won’t spend money on the team is not good for the whole league either,” he says.
Kevin Zanni, a manager with Willamette Management Associates, a valuation firm, notes that even the NBA commissioner comes out looking good.
“Because he gets rid of Sterling without having to force him out through the legal means to do it,” he says.
Finally, there’s the team’s new owner, Microsoft billionaire Steve Ballmer, another winner, says Smith’s Andy Zimbalist: “If Mr. Ballmer didn’t have $20 billion of net worth, I would say that this is an awful purchase for him.“
But he does. He doesn’t have to worry about getting a return on this investment. #Win.