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SBD/July 24, 2014/Franchises
As Testimony Wraps, Shelly Sterling's Attorneys Seek Appeal-Proof Ruling In Clippers Sale
Published July 24, 2014
THE PRICE IS WRONG? ESPN.com's Shelburne & Rovell cited drafts of the Clippers sale bid book as showing that Ballmer's $2.1B bid is "12.1 times the expected 2014 revenues of the team." The document, which was introduced into court on Tuesday, "reveals that the team is projected to finish the year" with $62.3M in revenues from ticket sales, $25.8M from its contract with FS Prime Ticket and $24.1M in additional team revenue. The Clippers also are "projected to receive" $52.7M on the season in shared revenue. After taking away "player payroll costs," total operating revenue for the '13-14 season is projected to be $100M. By using "extremely generous projections, including a new local TV deal" that Bank of America projects will go from $25M to $125M a year, and a 200% increase in the rights fees for a new NBA TV deal, which will begin in '16-17, an additional $160M in annual revenue is "added to the team in future years" (ESPNLA.com, 7/23).
A RIVERS RUNS THROUGH IT? Interim Clippers CEO Dick Parsons earlier in the week noted Clippers Senior VP/Basketball Operations and coach Doc Rivers could leave the team if Sterling was not removed by the start of the season. TWC SportsNet’s Chris McGee said Rivers is "legitimately frustrated and tired from going at this alone," as there is "nobody in the front office to help him when he sits with free agents, when he goes in front of the media." However, McGee does not see Rivers "leaving that team because I think Donald’s going to lose this before the season starts” ("Rome," CBSSN, 7/23). ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said, "I would not see him leaving. I would not see any players leaving. I think what happened was (NBA Commissioner) Adam Silver, in a good faith gesture, did everything that he could do to get rid of Donald Sterling. But there are courts in America and they don’t bend to the will of Adam Silver." ESPN's Michael Wilbon said Rivers and Clippers players are "really, really on-board with Adam Silver's handling" of the situation" ("PTI," ESPN, 7/23). Meanwhile, CBS Sports Network's Doug Gottlieb questioned how sincere Rivers was about his threat to leave the team. Gottlieb: "It’s a little bit of fake tough guy stuff. It’s a bluff that he has to play to earn respect in the locker room, but he is not walking away from all of that money. You want to walk away from Donald Sterling? He's going to sue you for breach of contract” ("Lead Off," CBSSN, 7/23).