Tuesday, April 29, 2014 | 7:20 p.m.
Floyd Mayweather, Jr., flaunts his wealth as effectively as he fires his punches.
The undefeated fighter nicknamed “Money” gets creative with how to spend the fortune he earns every time he steps in the ring. Upon arriving at the MGM Grand Tuesday afternoon in one of his several Rolls-Royces to kick off fight-week promotion for Saturday’s bout against Marcos Maidana, Mayweather revealed a new potential purchase that has caught his eye.
Mayweather is interested in acquiring the Los Angeles Clippers, the NBA franchise expected to soon hit the market after commissioner Adam Silver handed down a lifetime ban to current owner Donald Sterling Tuesday.
“We want to buy the Clippers,” Mayweather said. “Me and my team do want to buy the Clippers, and we can afford the Clippers.”
Mayweather described his team as Mayweather Promotions CEO Leonard Ellerbe, Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, boxing manager Al Haymon and a couple of unnamed “billionaire” friends. The top pound-for-pound boxer’s enthusiasm on the prospects drew a wave of snickers during a 30-minute media session, but Mayweather raised his voice to drown them out.
He emphasized that he wasn’t joking.
“We’ll see what we can come up with,” Mayweather said. “It’s not just talk.”
Several obvious hurdles would stand in the way before any real, preliminary discussions could ever take place. It would start with financials.
Mayweather might be Forbes’ long-reigning, highest paid athlete in sports, but his net worth still pales in comparison to any owner of an NBA franchise. He doesn’t have enough money to purchase a team.
The less lucrative Milwaukee Bucks, by comparison, just sold for $550 million to a pair of billionaires. While Mayweather never expressed any false aspirations of owning the team alone, his ego would also keep him from accepting a small stake.
“I can’t come in talking about how Mayweather is only going to get 3 percent, 4 percent,” he said. “I’ve got to get a solid percentage.”
Then there’s the issue of Mayweather’s gambling habits. He’s an avid NBA bettor, routinely placing six-figure wagers on the games.
The NBA tries to distance itself from sports betting at all costs as Mayweather is well aware.
“Once I get ownership in the Clippers, I can no longer bet so I’d have to stop that,” he said. “The sports book, I’d have to stop that completely.”
Mayweather would keep the Clippers separate from his affairs in Las Vegas. So, no, he would have zero interest in relocating the franchise to his longtime home in Southern Nevada despite the 20,000-seat arena MGM Resorts is set to open on the Strip in 2016.
“We’ll keep the Clippers right where they’re at,” Mayweather said, “because when I’m off and I’m not boxing, I’m at the games all the time.”
It was at the Staples Center where Mayweather felt he had gotten to know Sterling, whose ban came as a result of racist remarks on a recorded conversation with his mistress.
Mayweather passed on a chance to join an ever-growing chorus of influential figures condemning Sterling for his bigotry.
“I don’t have anything negative to say about this guy,” Mayweather said. “He’s always treated me with the utmost respect. He has always invited me to games, and has always told me, ‘Floyd, I want you to sit next to me and my wife.’”
Mayweather spoke less highly of Sterling’s mistress, V. Stiviano, whom he said often tried to sit females next to him in a seat he wanted to save for his “basketball guys.”
If his seemingly wild ownership dream comes to fruition, Mayweather could soon seat anyone anywhere he wants at Clippers’ games. In the meantime, Mayweather doesn’t intend to change his ways.
He took off from the MGM heading to the bank to withdraw money meant for gambling at the sports book.
Mayweather plans to wager on the Golden State Warriors plus-7 tonight, and against the team he soon hopes to own.