Golden State franchise sold for NBA record price

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Associated Press
Friday, July 16, 2010
— Golden State Warriors owner Chris Cohan reached an agreement Thursday to sell the National Basketball Association franchise for a record $450 million to Boston Celtics minority partner Joe Lacob and Mandalay Entertainment CEO Peter Guber.

Lacob and Guber beat out three other finalists, including Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who had been considered the favorite to buy the team from Cohan. Ellison has a personal fortune of $28 billion, according to an annual survey by Forbes magazine, and is the sixth-richest man in the world.

He had been courted by Warriors fans at a game earlier this year to buy the struggling franchise, which has made the playoffs only once in the past 16 seasons. Ellison said in a statement that he was surprised he did not win because he made the biggest offer.

The bid from Lacob and Guber broke the record for the largest sale in league history, topping the $401 million Robert Sarver paid to buy the Phoenix Suns in 2004.

The deal still needs to be approved by three-quarters of the NBA Board of Governors. Lacob also must sell his interest in the Celtics.

Cohan bought the Warriors in January 1995 from Janesville’s Jim Fitzgerald and Dan Finnane for about $119 million and made the playoffs just once in his entire tenure. The only other franchises that have been in the league since then to make the playoffs fewer than five times are the Los Angeles Clippers with two appearances and the Memphis/Vancouver Grizzlies with three.

Last updated: 2:21 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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