You may not know David Geffen's name offhand, but you should. He's one of the founding members of the DreamWorks production company, a prominent philanthropist, and a full-fledged entertainment icon in L.A.
So when Peter Vescey reported this morning that Geffen has interest in purchasing the Clippers, I shrugged it off. Too good to be true. Clippers fans—and NBA fans, in general—get to trade the worst owner in pro sports for a billionaire like Geffen, who everyone seems to enjoy? No way. Plus, as a reporter, Peter Vescey's not exactly a paragon of reliability.
But wait a second... ESPN's Marc Stein just confirmed the story. He's pretty reliable...
Could this really happen?
Yes, apparently. Or, Geffen's going to try and pull it off, at least. The plan, on paper, is for Geffen to purchase 51% of the Clippers from Donald Stering, and then try to woo LeBron. From Stein:
A source close to the situation confirmed reports that Geffen is interested in purchasing a majority share of the Clippers -- and that the long-shot attempt to convince Sterling to cede operating control of the team is among the reasons James and close friend Maverick Carter were in Los Angeles over the weekend.
As Stein continues, he cites Geffen's biggest selling point:
...the reason the Clippers have not been mentioned as a serious suitor [to LeBron James] is no mystery. Sources say that the Clippers won't factor into James' thinking as long as they continue to be run by Sterling, whose increased willingness to spend over the past decade has done little to change his reputation as one of the league's worst owners.
Geffen, by contrast, is another wildly successful businessman who, like investor Warren Buffett, appears to have quickly secured James' respect. As a record executive, film and theatrical producer and one of three co-founders of DreamWorks Studios, Geffen has a net worth estimated at $4.6 billion by Forbes Magazine.
It's a longshot on par with the Steve Nash-Dirk Nowitzki reunion, with a caveat. Donald Sterling may never sell the Clippers as long as he lives, but if he did... Wouldn't this be the perfect scenario? Blinded by his pursuit of LeBron, and retaining a minority share in the team, Sterling could still remain tangentially connected to the Clippers, just as they become the hottest ticket in Southern California. Perhaps if he had longer to think about it, Sterling would balk at that scenario, but with Free Agency beckoning, maybe Geffen could crack the old bastard.
...And then land LeBron James? Well, that's a whole 'nother story.
For now, it's still a web of "alleged" interest and "reports" citing anonymous sources close to Geffen, LeBron, and the Clippers. The sort of stuff that allows Vescey to pick up the baton and weave together a fantasy in the New York Post. But then... Stein confirmed it. It's a longshot, but it sure sounds like David Geffen is taking it.
And God, if anything good came from the hysteria surrounding LeBron James' free agency cluster f**k, wouldn't it be great if it was Donald Sterling getting forced out in Los Angeles?