"Boxing superstar Floyd Mayweather, Jr. said he wants to buy the Los Angeles Clippers, hours after NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned owner Donald Sterling for life and said he would urge league owners to force Sterling to sell the team.
"Mayweather, who is a regular at Clippers and Lakers games, was speaking with a group of reporters in a VIP lounge at the MGM Grand, where he will face fellow welterweight titleholder Marcos Maidana in a unification fight in a fight in a Showtime PPV main event on Saturday night.
"Mayweather said he was serious about his interest and that he had spoken with his adviser, Al Haymon, about teaming with Mayweather Promotions chief executive Leonard Ellerbe, Golden Boy Promotions chief executive Richard Schaefer and possibly others to make a bid for the Clippers."
Mayweather spoke further on the matter and also emphasized he has nothing negative to say about Sterling, the Clippers' beleaguered owner, per Rafael.
"I called Al today about that to see if me, Leonard and Al, and hopefully Richard and a couple of other guys, a couple of my other billionaire guys, we can come together and see what we can come up with. Hopefully, we can do it up, and not just talk.
"With me, I can't come in talking about Mayweather and only gonna get three percent, four percent. I got to get a solid percentage. Do we want to buy the Clippers? Yes, we do.
"We are very, very interested in buying the Clippers. We'll keep the Clippers right where they're at. When I'm not boxing, I'm at the games all the time.
"We do want to buy the Clippers. Me and my team do want to buy the Clippers and we can afford the Clippers.
"Once I get ownership in the Clippers I can no longer bet, so I have to stop that completely.
"Donald Sterling, he's been getting a lot of negative press and my thing is -- I don't have nothing negative to say about this guy.
"He's always treated me with utmost respect. He has always invited me to games, always. Has always told me,'Floyd, I want you to sit right next to me and my wife. I don't know about the (alleged) mistress. But I'm talking about him and the wife."
Case Keefer of The Las Vegas Sun argues Mayweather may not have enough to purchase an NBA team. He also confirms the storied prizefigher won't move the Clippers to Las Vegas should his intentions materialize.
"Mayweather might be Forbes' long-reigning, highest-paid athlete in sports, but his net worth still pales in comparison to any owner of an NBA franchise. He doesn't have enough money to purchase a team.
"Mayweather would keep the Clippers separate from his affairs in Las Vegas. So, no, he would have zero interest in relocating the franchise to his longtime home in Southern Nevada despite the 20,000-seat arena MGM Resorts is set to open on the Strip in 2016."
NBA commissioner Adam Silver issued a lifetime ban and a $2.5 million fine on Sterling on Tuesday for racist comments he made that were recorded and eventually leaked out.
In the recording, Sterling told his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, not to bring black people to Clippers games, notes Time Magazine.
"It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you're associating with black people. Do you have to? You can sleep with (them). You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want.
"The little I ask you is not to promote it on that...and not to bring them to my games."
Silver came down hard on Sterling, labeling the Clippers owner's actions as "offensive" and "harfmul," the same update goes on to say.
"I am banning Mr. Sterling for life.
"The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful. That they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage and my personal outrage.
"Sentiments of this kind are contrary to the principles of inclusion and respect that form the basis our diverse, multicultural and multiethnic league."
Rafael says Mayweather is the only celebrity who has expressed interest in buying the Clippers. The ESPN report adds DreamWorks founder David Geffen, who has an estimated net worth of $5.6 billion, could potentially be in the running as well, citing The Los Angeles Times.