May 29, 2014

More Clippers lunacy


From the LA Times:
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to buy Clippers for $2 billion 
Former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer won a frenetic bidding war for ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers, with his $2-billion offer setting a record price for an NBA team, The Times has learned.
Ballmer, who was chief executive of Microsoft for 14 years, was chosen over competitors that included Los Angeles-based investors Tony Ressler and Bruce Karsh and a group that included David Geffen and executives from the Guggenheim Group, the Chicago-based owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to three individuals familiar with the negotiations. 
One of the individuals with knowledge of the negotiations said the Geffen group bid $1.6 billion and Ressler at $1.2 billion. 
The sale price is almost four times the highest previous NBA franchise sale price -- the $550 million paid earlier this month for the Milwaukee Bucks. It is second only to the Dodgers' 2012 sale for $2.1 billion as the highest price for any sports team in North America. 
The tentative deal still must receive the blessing of her husband, Donald Sterling, who has waxed and waned on the question of whether he would allow his wife to sell the team he has controlled for more than three decades.

Don Sterling got $2 BILLION for selling the Clippers? Uh, hey...I don't want any black people in my house! Make me an offer!
    
That's basically the same price as Guggenheim (with Magic Johnson as the frontman and Mike Milken on the phone) paid for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012, which has prevented 70% of Dodger fans from watching their team on cable TV this year due to demands for much higher fees from cable companies.

So, expect a similar Greed Squeeze on Clippers fans now that the Evilest Man in the World no longer owns the team. I mean, it's not like the former CEO of Microsoft understands anything about exploiting market power to earn quasi-monopolistic profits.
       

61 comments:

DCThrowback said...

Wow, what a win for the Sterling family. Nothing beats selling at the top of a bubble. Doubly successful because they didn't sell to Magic's group, who really appeared to low ball the offer.

Anonymous said...

Nothing like an auction.

wiseguy said...

It would be funny if he moved the team to Seattle, causing the hypocritical players and employees who all of a sudden hated Sterling when the recording became public to have to live in Seattle instead of LA.

Clipper fans who opportunistically turned on their owner lose their team. Traitorous players and coaches forced out of LA. Sterling (who, yes, is a jerk) gets a fantastic return on his investment. Seattle gets the Sonics back. Justice served.

Anonymous said...

Can we consider the possibility that Sterling was behind the release of those tapes in an attempt to gin up publicity and spark a bidding war for a mediocre franchise? What better swan song for an unliked octogenarian plutocrat, right?

Lenny said...

Toskowitz has not had sufficient time to plan for the incredible capital gains tax hit.

The check to the IRS will be enormous.

Carol said...

Can we consider the possibility that Sterling was behind the release


Cui bono is fun isn't it. However, Occam is more useful.

Anonymous said...

Will Komment Kontrol allow us to observe that all three groups of bidders were, ah, cough, uh, cough, um, Scots-Irish [cough, cough, cough]?

Does anyone else find this just a little odd?

TontoBubbaGoldstein said...

Toskowitz has not had sufficient time to plan for the incredible capital gains tax hit.

The check to the IRS will be enormous.


Well, yeah CG taxes on a $1.9 BILLION gain will be over twice what they would have been on(the previous best estimate)$900 million gain. On the other hand, he's probably going to net several hundred million more than if none of this had happened and he had been able to pass it on CG tax free to his heirs.

Anonymous said...

"Will Komment Kontrol allow us..."

No one cares dude.

Whiskey said...

Peak Black sports? Will high prices force fans to find alternatives? Rugby, Premier League, NBCSports has really pushed it, NASCAR, other racing, hockey, etc?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"Will Komment Kontrol allow us to observe that all three groups of bidders were, ah, cough, uh, cough, um, Scots-Irish"

Presumably you mean Jewish? Where you guys get the idea that Steve won't allow frank discussions of Jews is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

Uh the fact that comments vanish for who knows what reason while Whiskey can post 8888 didn't read shit novellas about white women.

It wasn't until the last amnesty push that Steve would allow open comments about the Tribe. He was just as bad as the sbpdl guy.

Komment Kontrol said...

Ve must krack down on zeez komments!

Anonymous said...

Where is Ballmer on the list of luckiest people ever?

Anonymous said...

Where you guys get the idea that Steve won't allow frank discussions of Jews is beyond me.

LOL'ed.

I've practically given up on the idea of posting at iSteve - I spend all this time writing up these awesome posts, where I document and "footnote" them, line by line by line, and then I sit there waiting and waiting and waiting, for days on end, wondering whether maybe the LIFO stack still hasn't spit them back out yet, and eventually I have to give up and come to the conclusion that they never made it past Komment Kontrol.

Back on topic, though, I guess the average black NBA fan [not to mention the average black NBA PLAYER!?!] just isn't up-to-speed on how exactly his ancestors were brought from Africa over to the New World.

Plus ça change and whatnot.

PS: There was a scene in "Something Wild", when Ray Liotta reached into Melanie Griffith's purse, and pulled out a pair of handcuffs, and smiled, and said something to the effect that, "Old habits die hard!", but I can't for the life of me find any record of it on the internet.

In fact, the entire movie, "Something Wild", seems to be vanishing right down the memory hole.

"Something Wild" was a huge cult classic, back in the day.

I'm surprised that there isn't more fan support for the movie nowadays.

It's not often anymore that you remember a significant piece of recent cultural history better than the internet does.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't put it past Tozkowitz that he put the assets in a dynasty trust type setup, or another one of these abused trust vehicles.

David said...

>Will Komment Kontrol<

Do you think that this website is for posting whatever personal anecdotes and novel theories you like?

BurplesonAFB said...

And what's Ballmer gonna do with it?

Power Forwards, Power Forwards, Power Forwards, Power Forwards, Power Forwards, Power Forwards.

Power Forwards, Power Forwards, Power Forwards, Power Forwards, Power Forwards, Power Forwards, Power Forwards, Power Forwards.

Fist pump.

Yes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8To-6VIJZRE

Anonymous said...

David,

Nor is it for passive aggressive betas to back seat mod.

Steve Sailer said...

BurplesonAFB,

Thanks, I'll post.

Steve

Zorf said...

I hate spectator sports. The more bad PR the better.

San Diego politicians and voters have been manfully standing up to the Chargers who want us to gift their billionaire owner a billion dollar stadium. His latest request when we refused was we just give him the huge and very valuable Sports Arena site in Point Loma where the clippers played before they moved to LA.

Zorf said...

Anti Semites are just envious they lack the talent to succeed in business.

Zorf said...

Since it was mentioned here, one of the biggest ways billionaires avoid almost any tax is the stepped up basis of capital gains at death. Basically, if sterling sells now, he pays taxes on 2 billion minus the 12 million initial price, minus any capital he out in. But the moment he dies, the heir is assumed to have paid 2 billion and pays no tax for selling at that price.

Portlander said...

Wow, until that video, I never realized how much Steve B looks like WInchester from M*A*S*H.

Anonymous said...

Will Komment Kontrol allow us to observe that all three groups of bidders were, ah, cough, uh, cough, um, Scots-Irish [cough, cough, cough]?

Does anyone else find this just a little odd?


It's not odd at all. About half the current NBA franchise owners are, and Steven even alluded to this in one of his posts.

Anonymous said...

Which will turn out to be a better deal 10 years from now, Beats Electronics or The Clippers.

Portlander said...

But the moment he dies, the heir is assumed to have paid 2 billion and pays no tax for selling at that price.

Well, that's because the estate paid a wealth tax before distributing what's left of the capital.

But either way is stupid to talk about in this context because at these levels of wealth no one subjects themselves to the plain letter of the law. Estate planning is its own rarified industry of lawyers, accountants, and lobbyists.

Anonymous said...

The amount of money out there is beyond belief. $2B for the #3 or 4 team in the market? And they don't even own the building.

Anonymous said...

Sterling can operate housing for Koreans, but not The Clippers.

Donald Sterling ruled mentally unfit, can't prevent Clippers sale

http://www.google.com/search?client=ms-palm-webOS&channel=iss&q=killer

jody said...

this is such lunacy, i might need more than one post to explore it all.

but first, let's see if the sale actually happens. i bet toko still doesn't want to sell. it's a matter of principle. and he has to sign off on the sale, i believe. but, for 2 BILLION, a completely bonkers price, even he might sell.

"It would be funny if he moved the team to Seattle, causing the hypocritical players and employees who all of a sudden hated Sterling when the recording became public to have to live in Seattle instead of LA."

if the sale does happen, 29 owners must vote yes, and a condition of the sale will be NOT MOVING TO SEATTLE. so the team won't be moving. ballmer already tried to buy the kings and move them to seattle.

"Toskowitz has not had sufficient time to plan for the incredible capital gains tax hit."

according to what i have read, because it is a forced, involuntary sale, no tax is collected on the transaction. i'm not certain on this, but that is what some are saying with regard to IRS section 1033.

"Will Komment Kontrol allow us to observe that all three groups of bidders were, ah, cough, uh, cough, um, Scots-Irish"

i don't know if all bidders were, but certainly if the sale goes through, the team will change hands from one old jewish slumlord to one middle aged annoying jewish salesman who jumps around on stage like a retard, screaming about developers, developers, developers.

"Peak Black sports?"

the more substantive issue. if the clippers are worth 2 billion, then what are (fill in the blank) worth?

is this simply a case of somebody paying 100 grand for a 1995 honda accord but the car still being worth only 5 grand? or does the simple act of you overpaying by 95% for one hunk of junk thereby increase the value of all other hunks of junk? and if a 1995 honda accord is now worth 100 grand, how much does a ferrari go for?

since it is absolutely, positively, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the los angeles lakers are 2 to 3 times a more valuable property than the los angeles clippers...does this mean the lakers are worth 3 billion? 4 billion? what could the busses expect to get for them if they put them up for sale?

does this mean the charlotte bobcats are suddenly worth 500 million dollars? a team with no fans, where most games happen in front of 4000 or 5000 people? did steve ballmer just put hundreds of millions of dollars in michael jordan's pocket?

how much are the new york yankees worth now? the dallas cowboys? or are they still worth today what they were worth yesterday, and ballmer merely owns a 500 million dollar sports team for which he overpaid to the tune of 2 billion dollars?

Dennis Dale said...

Will Komment Kontrol

Do you think that this website is for posting whatever personal anecdotes and novel theories you like?


Indeed. Tell you what: get your own blog, put your real name on it, post at will, leave the comments section wide open, and then you can talk shit.
And get some new comic (komic?) material: the "komment kontrol" line, implying as it does Soviet levels of suppression of your speech rights, is bullshit, because this is not a public space and there is no obligation on the part of the proprietor, Sailer, to post your provocations. You want access to Sailer's hard-earned audience while you hide behind anonymity and transfer all the risk to him. "Komment Kontrol"! Are you f---ing kidding me?

You have avenues available to you. You can start a blog in five minutes. I'll give it a fair try. Man up or shut up.

Anonymous said...

According to ESPN reporter, Ramona Shelburne, Shelly Sterling apparently got Donald deemed mentally incapacitated, thereby giving her full authority to sell the team per the family trust's bylaws.

cbssports.com

Anonymous said...

Actually, the phrase "Komment Kontrol" - which has irked me for some time - reveals an anti-German attitude, implying that the Germans are wont to rigidly enforce the rules, eliminating all the fun in the process.

Personally, as a German, I find that quite offensive.

Anonymous said...

"The check to the IRS will be enormous."

Yeah, he'll only get to keep roughly 80% of $2 billion. Those poor oppressed rich people.

Anonymous said...

You know, having read through the drivel on this thread, I'm starting to come to the conclusion that my posts never make it past Komment Kontrol because they're too sophisticated.

Too droll.

Maybe I need to be more vulgar.

BTW, until I googled that yesterday, I wasn't aware that Spinoza was up to his eye teeth in this disaster.

Talk about plus ça change.

The more you learn about HBD and epicyclic phenomena, the more you start to realize that these patterns are to be found everywhere, hiding in broad daylight.

Staring right at you, directly in front of your nose.

You just don't realize it yet.

Anonymous said...

BTW, if you read that article on the Spinoza family and the Brazilian sugar trade, then you'll quickly realize that with this phenomenon of the "New Christian" and its non-converted Scots-Irish KKKinfolk, they were setting up some very elaborate legalistic and financial vehicles by way of which the profits could be laundered through the "New Christian" and back into the Scots-Irish KKKinfolk, without the KKKinfolk suffering the public taint of slave ownership in the official record of the transactions.

Which - if you have a brain slightly larger than a walnut - quickly brings you to the realization that this is PRECISELY what Donald "Sterling" MacTokowitz is doing with the family trust for the KKKlippers, in laundering all of the profits back into the family - he's the fall guy taking the hit for the KKKinfolk.

I mean, talk about epicyclic phenomena and plus ça change.

It just leaves you shaking your head in amazement.

There really is nothing new under the sun.

The same damned actors pulling the same damned scams in exactly the same damned line of business, only they're separated temporally by an interval of four centuries.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know?

Is Ballmer offering cash, or MS stock, or some combination of the two?

Mrs. Sterling said...

Shelly Sterling apparently got Donald deemed mentally incapacitated, thereby giving her full authority to sell the team per the family trust's bylaws.

Curses! You fools have exposed my evil plot. While you were focused on the "Ultimate Cleanser," I made the moves to get may hands on... 2..Billion...Dollars! Igor, prepare the escape pod. Hee hee hee hee hee!

Nicholas Burge Christies Auctioneer said...

Slaves fresh off the boat can jump high!

Sold to the darkly ringletted shyster at the back....


Next lot, we've got a lovely Flaxen haired population in the breadbasket of Europe...what am I offered?

David said...

ROI is important even to a billionaire. "How much revenue can the team generate?" has to be an important consideration. It can't be that Ballmer wants to turn the Clippers into a boutique hobby. If he does, then what exactly would he be curating? Are TPTB so well-served by sports, media, and other forms of bread and circuses that they would subsidize them?

David said...

I think you missed the humor.

Anonymous said...

Are TPTB so well-served by sports, media, and other forms of bread and circuses that they would subsidize them?

Behold.

The lightbulb goes off in the head of a newcomer to the Dark Enlightenment.

The "black light" bulb, that is.

Welcome, little padawan apprentice, to The Dark Side.

Anonymous said...

Tough luck Magic! Good. I was greatly annoyed to see the idiot talking heads on CNN, just the other day, saying that it would be "poetic justice" if everybody's favorite VD infected athlete got the Clippers. Ballmer is perfect, and about as far from Magic as you can get.

NOTA said...

I like the way this story has such an excess of unsympathetic characters. There's a semi-senile billionaire, his wife, his gold-digging skanky mistress, her smarmy lawyer, and then a big coalition of entitled asshole billionaire team owners, and an endless parade of self-righteous sports talking heads.

Isn't there some way we could get this whole unpleasant bunch to meet together and resolve their differences, maybe in one of those cities in Syria that Assad's bombarding with chemical weapons?

outsider said...

How come I have never heard of the Milwaukee Bucks, who have existed since 1966. Big league sports franchises are practically part of the government, with GDPs bigger than most third world dictatorships.

sunbeam said...

I'm really starting to think sports team valuations are a bubble.

Not going to write a long winded narrative about how none of them have the kind of direct income to support a valuation like this. Only the revenue from broadcast rights can remotely justify even a quarter of the price.

(Though a select few teams in America can make excellent revenue from resale of gear with their logo.)

To me it is a product of the amounts broadcasters (and we are mainly talking about cable companies) are willing to pay.

It's not just pro teams, college conferences have tv deals now (SEC, Big 10, etc).

Steve wrote about the theory that the buyers of the Dodgers were playing hardball with the cable companies in Southern California, and the cable companies were balking about paying. He also wrote about the possibility that the internet cutting into cable share would lead to big problems for sports franchises, by making cable unwilling to pay the huge amounts for sports rights they have been.

I ask you, if sports teams had to make money off of directly selling content (games) directly to consumers in some way, without cable companies indirectly billing people who have no true interest in sports programming, well how much would they be worth?

I write this in the sense that I believe most cable customers wouldn't purchase sports content if they had any choice. They pay for it because they don't really think about the bill, or they want other stuff that would be cheaper without having to pay for sports, and are unwilling to give it up.

If the NFL, MLB, the NBA were all broadcast on a sort of pay per view basis... well it is a very different world.

Sure as heck looks like a bubble to me. Not sure when the next big broadcast negotiation for rights for a sports league is going to happen, but what if there are no bidders, or only bidders at a reduced price from the last contract?

I owned a team, I'd dump it now. Would have no interest in timing something like this.

peterike said...

Poor Clippers fans. After decades of incompetent management and failure under Sterlingowitz, they now fall into the hands of an idiot, the most astonishing case of the Peter Principle ever witnessed. Little Stevie has to his credit an nearly limitless string of failures and flops, of money burned away chasing pipe dreams and imagined enemies.

On the other hand, he's really really good at replacing white labor with Asian coolie labor. Maybe he'll start replacing all those expensive black athletes with cheap Indians and Chinese.

peterike said...

It can't be that Ballmer wants to turn the Clippers into a boutique hobby. If he does, then what exactly would he be curating?

You kidding? He gets to hang around with muscular black men. You haven't noticed a certain black fetishism in all this Jewish sports ownership?

Anonymous said...

After decades of incompetent management and failure under Sterlingowitz, they now fall into the hands of an idiot, the most astonishing case of the Peter Principle ever witnessed. Little Stevie has to his credit an nearly limitless string of failures and flops, of money burned away chasing pipe dreams and imagined enemies.

Ballmer doubled MSFT's earnings during his tenure. Sterling seems to have made pretty good money on the Clippers. Both seem like major league winners.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Ballmer the guy who signed off on Windows 8? Him paying 2 billion for the Clippers sounds pretty consistent.

Well, anyhow, the important result of this whole fiasco is that even sports fanatics, who couldn't care a whit about politics, now know that they must be very careful in what they say at all times.

Dennis Dale said...

I like the way this story has such an excess of unsympathetic characters. There's a semi-senile billionaire, his wife, his gold-digging skanky mistress, her smarmy lawyer, and then a big coalition of entitled asshole billionaire team owners, and an endless parade of self-righteous sports talking heads.

Sounds like one hell of a Broadway musical.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 5/30/14, 3:36 AM

"...Germans are wont to rigidly enforce the rules, eliminating all the fun in the process.

Personally, as a German, I find that quite offensive."

Aren't Germans wont to say "Alles ist verboten?"

Hey, it's good that Germans want to enforce rules. Rule by law is probably what has made "The West" so influential in the past millennium.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the phrase "Komment Kontrol" - which has irked me for some time - reveals an anti-German attitude, implying that the Germans are wont to rigidly enforce the rules, eliminating all the fun in the process.

I think it's funny. I can't help hearing "KOM-ment KAWN-trrrol" in my mind without a heavy Schwarzenegger ack-sent.

David Davenport said...

Which will turn out to be a better deal 10 years from now, Beats Electronics or The Clippers.

Neither. I'm with Sunbeam. My hunch is that NBA basketball popularity is topping out.

Likewise for Beats. The mass market appeal of rap musik and rap peepul is at its zenith, maybe already past its apogee.

Anonymous said...

I have noticed a keen nose (pun intended) for money. I think you may be projecting here.

Anonymous said...


I ask you, if sports teams had to make money off of directly selling content (games) directly to consumers in some way, without cable companies indirectly billing people who have no true interest in sports programming, well how much would they be worth?



Isn't that what MLB TV does? We quit paying for cable because one day we realized none of us watched it. But we then got MLB TV which we get over the internet. It is great. So, yeah there is a way for people to get content without cable.

Mr. Anon said...

"Dennis Dale said...

You want access to Sailer's hard-earned audience while you hide behind anonymity and transfer all the risk to him. "Komment Kontrol"! Are you f---ing kidding me? You have avenues available to you. You can start a blog in five minutes. I'll give it a fair try. Man up or shut up."

Well said. Steve offers up some of the most heterodox comment available on the net, and posts the same from his commenters. If Komment Kontrol Klown's posts don't go through, perhaps it's because a.) he's a retard, who doesn't know how to use a komputer, b.) he needs to upgrade from his 600 baud dial-up konnection, or k.) his komments are krass, khildish, and stupid beyond komprehension.

Kiao, Khum.

RAZ said...

outsider said...

How come I have never heard of the Milwaukee Bucks, who have existed since 1966. Big league sports franchises are practically part of the government, with GDPs bigger than most third world dictatorships.


Because except for their years with Alcindor/Jabbar ending in the mid 70's they have been a small market, usually pretty irrelevant team.

But the a rising tide in the NBA lifted the valuation of all teams including them, as witness the then record price the team sold for earlier in the year.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering if the one drop rule applies on this site to Jewishness.

Ballmer had one Jewish parent - which makes him Jewish on this site?

The Nets owner Prokhorov had one Jewish grandparent - is he still Jewish on this site?

1/4 Jewish descendant Germans were considered sufficiently non Jewish to fight in the German army during WWII. But maybe that's still too Jewish to be considered non Jewish here.

Marion Morrison aka Duke said...

If the guy wants to be called Sterling, call him Sterling.
Also, what Dennis Dale said at 1:04 AM regarding alleged comment control was right, and is worth rereading.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the phrase "Komment Kontrol" - which has irked me for some time - reveals an anti-German attitude, implying that the Germans are wont to rigidly enforce the rules, eliminating all the fun in the process.

So Komment Kontrol is an anti-German micro-aggression?