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Magic Johnson expresses interest in buying Clippers from Donald Sterling

Magic Johnson Sterling Saginaw

Former NBA star Magic Johnson speaks during a news conference in Saginaw, Mich., Tuesday, April 29, 2014. Johnson answered questions about Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, whom NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned for life from the league. (AP Photo/The Saginaw News, Neil Barris)

AP

Magic Johnson’s denial that he wants to buy the Clippers from Donald Sterling was sandwiched by reports that he did.

Should we believe Johnson or those reports?

According to Johnson, those reports.

Johnson, via Ben Bergman of 89.3 KPCC:

“I will be owning an NBA team sometime,” Johnson told a gathering of business leaders Wednesday at the Milken Global Conference in Beverly Hills. “Is the Clippers the right situation? Of course. It’s one of the premiere franchises.”
“I think the fans have already spoken,” Johnson said. “They would like us to own the team. But we have to wait and see.”

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Johnson gave himself a semantic out in his denial, implying he didn’t want to buy the Clippers because they have an owner. Do they still have an owner? Yes, but you could twist it the other way if you desire. Johnson desires.

Really, there was no reason for the charade, and I’m glad it’s over. Johnson obviously wanted to avoid the appearance of impropriety after he’d gone on television to say the NBA should remove Sterling as owner. How would it look if he then bought the team?

Just fine.

Despite his apparent worries – which seem to be over now – Johnson remains beloved in the NBA community. He’ll have competition, but he’d be welcomed as Clippers owner.

It could be a long road until the team is sold, but Johnson is openly travelling it now.