Mar 2, 2020 - Sports

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer nearing deal to buy The Forum

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar during the 1982 NBA Finals at The Forum. Photo: Focus on Sport/Getty Images
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar during the 1982 NBA Finals at The Forum. Photo: Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is in advanced talks to purchase The Forum from the Madison Square Garden Company, per multiple reports.

Why it matters: Ballmer's plan to build a $1 billion arena near The Forum triggered multiple lawsuits, including three by MSG, so purchasing The Forum from them would clear a major hurdle in the Clippers' pursuit of a new home.

The backdrop: The Forum was home to the Lakers from 1967 to 1999, an era in which the franchise won six NBA titles and built a modern sports dynasty led by Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

  • Other Laker legends like Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, Gail Goodrich, Jamaal Wilkes, Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant played a few seasons at The Forum, too.

The bottom line: That hallowed Lakers ground could soon be owned by the rival Clippers, who have plans to carve out their own space and build their own image in their big brothers' old backyard.

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