The NBA has started the process of terminating Shelly and Donald Sterling's ownership of the Clippers (Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)
When and how the Los Angeles Clippers officially are put up for sale -- and by whom -- are yet to be determined, but two more former NBA headliners reportedly are lining up separate ownership groups to bid on the franchise. ESPN's Marc Stein reports Grant Hill and Yao Ming are actively preparing to make a run at becoming NBA owners.
Hill and Ming join a list of former players and celebrities linked to having interest in owning the Clippers, including former Lakers star and Dodgers owner Magic Johnson, Oprah Winfrey, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison.
Yao reportedly plans to organize a group of Chinese investors to bid on the Clippers. The former Rockets center already owns the Shanghai Sharks in China. Yao reportedly had previous interest in purchasing the Bucks before then-owner Herb Kohl insisted on selling to a group that would keep the team in Milwaukee.
When the Clippers actually go on the market remains unclear. The NBA has set into motion a process for forcing owner Donald Sterling to sell. On Wednesday, Sterling reportedly agreed to let his wife, Shelly, sell the team, but the NBA reaffirmed its intent on ending the Sterling family's ownership.
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“We continue to follow the process set forth in the NBA Constitution regarding termination of the current ownership interests in the Los Angeles Clippers and are proceeding toward a hearing on this matter on June 3,” said NBA spokesman Mike Bass.