Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Magic Johnson Frontman?

By Steve Sailer

It sounds like there's a much more interesting story going on with the Donald T. Sterling donnybrook than anybody has been investigating yet. I don't know how far this story might go, but it just might go all the way from Magic Johnson to somebody really interesting.

For years, I've been pointing out that much of the hoopla over racism and sexism isn't actually about blacks or women or whatever. Instead, it serves as a cover story for ambitious, clever men to get what they want. For example, I've long been fascinated by how mortgage lenders like Angelo Mozilo, Roland Arnall, and Kerry Killinger used the rhetoric of the War on Racist Redlining to blow up the housing bubble.

Obsess over racism; pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

But in the Sterling Story, who is The Man?

I'll offer a theory about why the man might be Magic Johnson, who desperately wants Donald Sterling's NBA franchise now that the Buss family says they won't sell his old Lakers. But Magic was the front man in the purchase of the Los Angeles Dodgers two years ago. So it might be Magic's big money backers in Guggenheim Partners.

Or ... And this is really a stretch, but let me toss it out there. There's a financier in L.A. who invests some of his money with Guggenheim Partners who for intelligence and energy and guile makes Mozilo and the other mortgage guys look like smalltimers. You haven't heard much about him since he got out of prison a couple of decades ago. He's legally banned for life from getting anything in return for giving investment advice. But he's still here and he's allowed to manage his own billions. The SEC has been investigating whether the Dodger purchase by Guggenheim was something of a front for him to get back in the game.

Granted, I'm no doubt reading way too much into this. And if this story doesn't go all the way to the top, it's still really interesting. I apologize for this post wandering all over the place, but the more I looked into the story that Magic wants the Clippers, the more pieces fell into place.

Listening closely to the presumably illegally made tapes suggests that the mistress was setting the LA Clippers owner up -- she's the one egging on the racial angle over her photos cuddling with Magic Johnson and Matt Kemp of the Dodgers. Originally, I assumed her minor league lawyer was her mastermind, but the news that Magic and his mysterious Guggenheim Partners backers want control of Sterling's NBA franchise suggests that there's a reasonable chance that this whole set-up originated with somebody more high-powered than her Woodland Hills attorney. (This lawyer is so obscure that his office is on Burbank Blvd. rather than on Ventura Blvd.)

Former Los Angeles Lakers basketball star Magic Johnson was the public frontman for the secretive Guggenheim Partners in paying an outlandish $2 billion to Boston leveraged parking lot robber baronFrank McCourt for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team. And now, what do you know, Magic and the Guggenheim Partners are willing to take the Los Angeles Clippers off Donald Sterling's hands and add it to their nascent Los Angeles sports empire.

In contrast, the new Guggenheim Partners firm is very high-powered. In fact, the SEC has been trying for a year to figure out if GP is so high-powered that its Los Angeles sports franchise acquisitions are done in illegal collaboration with ... well, I won't mention his name yet, but it's a smack-yourself-in-the-forehead name out of the history books of Los Angeles and finance. I'll tell you the name later in the posting, but for my readers who are at his annual Beverly Hills wingding today, why don't you ask around and see what your host thinks about the Clippers. Or ask Magic Johnson when he speaks at lunchtime on Wednesday.

Read the rest here.

RW note: Yesterday, Magic Johnson issued something of a non-denial denial in a tweet, stating he is not interested in buying the Clippers because "they already have an owner." Though earlier in the week he said on ESPN about Sterling, "He shouldn't own a team anymore."


  1. Speaking of .......

    Makes me almost feel sorry for Sterling.
    I said almost.

  2. The mystery man is mentioned in an earlier post from today.

  3. Magic's tweet there is incredibly stupid. He knew it was quite likely that they wouldn't have an owner (when Sterling gets the boot), and thus they would be up for sale. So stupid Earvin...

  4. "I'm not trying to buy the Clippers. I'm stealing them."