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Famous bidders already lining up for LA Clippers

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 1, 2014 at 7:38 am •  Published: May 1, 2014
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"The league has made it known that it wants more minorities involved, and as a proud Mexican-American, I will bring a different perspective to the NBA in general, and the Clippers in particular," De La Hoya said. "I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I know what it takes to run a successful sports entity."

A vocal segment of the NBA's social media following immediately started a campaign to move the Clippers to Seattle, a basketball-loving city that has been without a team since Clay Bennett moved the SuperSonics to Oklahoma City in 2008.

But much of the Clippers' value results from their location in the nation's second-largest city and their opportunity to sign a lucrative new television rights deal in 2016.

The Clippers' association with Sterling's racist remarks could have been crushing to their prestige and value, but they don't seem to be a problem if Sterling is no longer associated with the club.

"The short term damage has been dramatic, but Commissioner (Adam) Silver provided a tourniquet that has stopped the brand erosion," Carter said. "The NBA, working in conjunction with new ownership, will have an extraordinary opportunity to rehabilitate the team's reputation, and then extend its brand."

The Clippers haven't been known for success during most of their existence, but that's changing. And what's more, the Clippers are cool.

Led by point guard Chris Paul and high-flying forward Blake Griffin — two All-Stars signed to long-term contracts — the Clippers have won two straight Pacific Division titles and are on the brink of their third playoff series victory since Sterling bought the team in 1981.

The Clippers have captured the imagination of Los Angeles' counterculture, the transplants and contrarian fans who aren't interested in the Lakers' bandwagon. They're also attracting more of an international following with each highlight-reel performance by Paul and dunking virtuosos DeAndre Jordan and Griffin, who coined the phrase "Lob City" to describe their daredevil style of play.

And it doesn't hurt that the Lakers just finished their worst season in more than 50 years, missing the playoffs for just the third time in 38 seasons. The Lakers appear to be years away from title contention, while the Clippers are built to contend every year in the near future.

"We're proud of this team," Clippers guard Jamal Crawford said. "We're proud of our city, and we want to make them proud of us."