Earlier today we learned that Los Angeles’ richest resident, Patrick Soon-Shiong, would be bidding on the Los Angeles Clippers franchise when they are placed for sale by the NBA.
Normally that would be of interest itself, but there’s something far more intriguing about Soon-Shiong’s expected bid. He’s currently a minority owner of the Los Angeles Lakers franchise.
Ranked by Forbes as the wealthiest American in the healthcare industry, Soon-Shiong purchased a 4.5 percent stake in the Lakers franchise in October of 2010 after former player, Magic Johnson, sold off his shares of the team.
So what does this have to do with the Lakers? Well, in all honesty, not a whole lot. Sure, it’s possible that the Lakers could lose a wealthy investor but they’ll be able to get another if his near 5 percent stake goes up for sale.
But given Shiong’s finances and the fact that he’s already been approved into the circle of NBA ownership, that could ring significant for the Clippers.
We’ve seen how accommodating the NBA is to owners who like to jump from minority ownership to majority, even recently seeing such with Vivek Ranadive.
Previously a minority owner of the Golden State Warriors, Ranadive used his foot in the door to become majority owner of the Sacramento Kings, a path Soon-Shiong is clearly attempting to replicate.
Add in his incredibly deep pockets and the fact that he’s a Los Angeles resident? It certainly looks as if the NBA has a very solid case to allow Soon-Shiong into their exclusive boy’s club (and girls too, Miss. Buss).