Magic Johnson Among Group Who Wants To Buy L.A. Dodgers

Magic Johnson

Magic JohnsonIn early November, Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt reached an agreement with the MLB to sell the team following years of damage under his ownership.

Now, it seems a local sports star is part of a group that wants to buy the team.

According to ESPN, retired NBA great Earvin “Magic” Johnson is among a group who want to buy the team. Despite being an NBA legend, he says he’s actually a big baseball fan.

“I’m a big baseball fan,” Johnson said. “And, you think about what the Dodgers have meant to baseball and to Los Angeles, and that part’s a no-brainer. … I’ve been to that place [Dodger Stadium] hundreds and hundreds of times.”

Johnson was reportedly approached about the opportunity a month ago by Stan Kasten, the former president of the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals — who Johnson has known for years.

Mark Walter, the CEO of Guggenheim Partners, will be the money behind the group, which is called Guggenheim Baseball Management. According to a fact sheet about the group, Guggenheim Partners has more than $125 billion in assets under management.

If the purchase is completed, John says the ownership of the Dodgers would work this way: Walter would write the big checks; Kasten would oversee the baseball operations; and Johnson, who recently sold his ownership share of the Los Angeles Lakers, would work as a president or vice president on both the business side and in recruiting players, when needed.

“I want to win,” said Johnson. “We want to win. Not only do we have the guy who can write the check to buy the team, but we have to have somebody who can acquire quality people and talent, and Stan knows how to do that better than anybody. … We’ve got a great plan.”

The sale process for the Dodgers could begin this week. The Los Angeles Times reported in Friday’s editions that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban intends to bid for the Dodgers as well.

Along with Cuban, former Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley is said to be in the mix, as well as former Dodgers Garvey and Orel Hershiser; and former Dodgers general manager Fred Claire, Los Angeles developer Rick Caruso, supermarket mogul Ron Burkle and former Buffalo Sabres owner Tom Golisano have been linked to the bidding.

The price will likely will break the record for a baseball franchise, topping the $845 million paid by the Ricketts family for the Chicago Cubs in 2009.

In February, Johnson was also part of a group who purchased Vibe magazine.

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