IN 2014, THE Los Angeles Clippers were just getting used to being a good basketball team. After more than three decades of irrelevance—and only four winning seasons—they’d finally found that magic mix of talent and cohesion and had become a division-winning powerhouse practically overnight. But then they hit another roadblock: TMZ published a recording of the team’s owner, Donald Sterling, making racist comments.
The scandal spread. Rumors began to swirl that the league would force Sterling to sell the team. Basketball in LA has long been associated with celebrity, and the names of A-list prospective buyers flew: Billy Crystal, Oprah Winfrey. Even boxer Floyd Mayweather reportedly expressed interest.