LAS VEGAS -- Among the notables who have expressed interest in buying the Los Angeles Clippers – a team that's not for sale, by the way – is boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., the country's highest-paid athlete, one on track to earn $90 million this year.
Mayweather said this week that he's serious about putting a group together to buy the embattled NBA team, and he listed his promoter, Richard Schaefer of Golden Boy Promotions, as a possible partner in the endeavor.
But Schaefer, a former high-powered investment banker, is not so sure the Clippers will be on the sales block any time soon, and said he was taken off guard by Mayweather mentioning him as a potential co-owner.
Clippers owner Donald Sterling was fined $2.5 million and received a lifetime suspension from the NBA this week after an audio recording of what is said to be Sterling making offensive comments surfaced.
"First of all, people are throwing their hat into the ring for something that's not even for sale," said Schaefer, promoting Saturday's pay-per-view fight between Mayweather and Marcos Maidana at the MGM Grand. "I think it's a long process before we end up there, or if we ever end up there, because Donald Sterling is certainly not a guy who's going to take it to the chin. He's going to stand there and trade, to put it in boxing terms. If the owners of the NBA are going to vote him out, or put the pressure on him to sell, which I'm not really sure whether legally speaking they can do that. I see that based on the NBA rules and regulations they can do it, but I'm not sure that would actually hold up legally to force a sale.
"But let's just say that would be the case, which I'm sure would be several months down the road, then you're going to have to deal with the potential legal battle from Donald Sterling trying to stop such a forced sale. So I'm not sure if they ever even are going to be for sale. And if they are, I'm sure that would be a process which would be similar to what we saw with the Dodgers, which would be where the Clippers would hire an investment bank, which would put together their sales book and then would vet out the different groups.
"I think you're going to see a similar process here, if it comes to that. You're talking months and months and months. Suddenly everybody is saying, `I want to buy the Clippers! I want to buy the Clippers!' I think some of that has to do with self-promotion as well."