Sunday, May 25, 2014

Yao Ming denies rumored interest to buy the Los Angeles Clippers

Former Houston Rockets star Yao Ming has denied that he is interested in buying the LA Clippers, saying the ESPN report that came out on Friday linking him to a Chinese group of investors interested in purchasing the franchise from disgraced owner Donald Sterling is not true.

In an email, Yao told Jonathan Feigen of Ultimate "I just heard about it in the morning my time. I really don't know where this news came from."

The 33-year old Yao was reported by ESPN to have been working to assemble a team of Chinese investors to make a run at the Clippers. Citing multiple reports, Sterling has given his wife Shelly the authority to negotiate with interested groups for a sale of the franchise.

The ESPN report also said that Yao was also interested in buying the Milwaukee Bucks earlier this year but decided not to pursue when then owner Herb Kohl decided that keeping the team in Milwaukee a mandatory requirement for any new owner. Eventually, Kohl sold the team to Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry for $550 million.

The ESPN report also said that apart from Yao, another retired NBA star in Grant Hill was also putting a consortium of investors to make a run at the Clippers.

Since retiring in 2011 due to various injuries, Yao has been pursuing a degree in economics at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Being a big Chinese star, he has also been involved in numerous projects with NBA Asia. He owns the Shanghai Sharks professional basketball team, having bought it in 2009.

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