Oracle’s Larry Ellison looking to buy the LA Clippers?

The billionaire CEO is said to be joining forces with record producer David Geffen and media mogul Oprah Winfrey to place a bid on the basketball team -- if and when it goes up for sale.

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Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. James Martin/CNET

As the sports world is still reeling from the Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling's fall from grace after making a series of racist comments, it looks like a member of the tech world could step in to buy the basketball team.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is joining forces with record producer David Geffen and media mogul Oprah Winfrey to buy the Clippers if the team goes up for sale, according to ESPN.

Geffen spoke to the sports network and said that he and Ellison would be in charge of the team and Winfrey would be an investor.

"The team deserves a better group of owners who want to win," Geffen told ESPN. "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."

Ellison, whose net worth is pegged at $48 billion, has attempted to buy sports teams in the past. In 2010, he tried to buy a majority share in the Golden State Warriors basketball team but was beat out by other bidders. And, in 2012, it was said that he was interested in bidding on Anschutz Entertainment Group, which has an ownership stake in the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team and Los Angeles Kings hockey team. Ellison also backed the US sailing team for the 34th America's Cup last fall.

While the Ellison, Geffen, Winfrey trio seem to be strong contenders for buying the Clippers, they're said to be up against some competition from other bidders. According to ESPN, music producer Sean Combs, boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr., real-estate mogul Rick Caruso, and former basketball star Magic Johnson have also reportedly expressed interest in buying the team.

Even though NBA commissioner Adam Silver has fined Sterling $2.5 million and banned him from the league for life, it's not yet clear if and when the team will go up for sale. The NBA board of governors has to first vote on whether or not to force a sale of the team.

CNET contacted Ellison's spokesperson for comment. We'll update the story when we get more information.

 

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