Tuesday, April 29, 2014

He who laughs last

Might well be the NBA owner Donald Sterling, according to the WSJ;
As sports-owner résumés go, Donald Sterling of the Los Angeles Clippers has possibly the worst.
For the better part of three decades, his NBA team has been a punch line, making the playoffs just seven times since 1981 and losing in the first round in four of those runs. He has one of the least enviable arena deals in major sports, his team's draft picks over the years have been roundly criticized, and even the team's recent success involved an element of luck.
But because of the unusual economics that drive big-budget North American sports leagues, Sterling, the NBA's longest-tenured owner, is sitting on an asset that, were he to sell tomorrow, would go for hundreds of millions more than the $12.5 million he bought it for in 1981.
Possibly $700 million if the sale of the Milwaukee Bucks last year is the benchmark. All because fans like to watch the games--both live and on TV--and pay for the privilege. Which is unlikely to change even if Sterling is proven to be something of a creepy old man.

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