Tom Gores, a billionaire Michigan native, has emerged as the latest potential buyer for the Detroit Pistons. The Detroit Free Press reports that Gores has 30 days to negotiate a purchase agreement with selling owner Karen Davidson. Gores' bid follows an unsuccessful attempt by Detroit sports baron Mike Illitich, who sought to buy the Pistons and build a new arena for the team and the NHL's Red Wings (owned by Illitich) in downtown Detroit.
Gores, 46, grew up in Flint, Mich., and attended Michigan State. He made his billions as the found of a Los Angeles-based equity firm. It's unclear whether, like the NBA's other billionaires like Paul Allen and Mark Cuban, Gores would be a free spender for the Pistons, or whether he would see the Pistons' eternal profits as an addition to his profit margin.
Davidson has been attempting to offload the Pistons since her husand, Bill, died in 2009. Mr. Davidson had purchased the Pistons in the 1970s for just $7 million; the franchise is believed to be worth at least $400 million today, and has long been one of the NBA's most profitable enterprises.