Mar 25, 2020 - Sports

Clippers buy The Forum for $400 million in cash

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Clippers owner Steve Ballmer has reached an agreement with the Madison Square Garden Company to buy The Forum in Inglewood, California, for $400 million in cash.

Why it matters: The purchase removes the biggest hurdle in Ballmer's plan to build a privately financed 18,000-seat arena near The Forum, which will continue to function as a music venue.

  • Worth noting: The Clippers are under contract to play at Staples Center, which they share with the Lakers and Kings, through June 2024, so the move to Inglewood is at least four years away.

The big picture: 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.

  • It is now owned by the Clippers, who have the richest owner in American sports and have been determined to build a home of their own since he bought the team from the disgraced Donald Sterling in 2014.
  • Though they won't play any games in The Forum, the fact that the Clippers now own the arena and plan to build an entertainment complex and community center on Lakers' hallowed ground symbolizes the shifting tide.

The bottom line: The Lakers still own L.A., but the Clippers are hell-bent on redefining their place in the city — and a new arena will do wonders as they carve out a new identity and stake their claim to a new neighborhood.

P.S. ... James Dolan bought The Forum for $23.5 million in 2012, invested $75 million in renovations and sold it for $400 million eight years later.

Go deeper

LeBron still wears the crown after win over Clippers

Photo: Harry How/Getty Images

LeBron James led the Lakers to season-defining wins over the NBA-best Bucks and rival Clippers this weekend, all while playing lockdown defense on reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and reigning Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard — the two strongest challengers to his throne in recent years.

Why it matters: James' weekend statement may have changed the course of the MVP race, which Antetokounmpo — who will miss at least two games with a sprained knee — has been heavily favored to win for months.

Go deeperArrowMar 9, 2020 - Sports

AFL-CIO presidential forum canceled over coronavirus concerns

Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden during the Democratic presidential debate in Houston, Texas, last year. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

The AFL-CIO presidential forum that was to be held in Orlando, Florida, this week has been canceled because of the novel coronavirus outbreak, a spokesperson said in a statement Saturday.

Why it matters: Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders were due to appear at the forum on Thursday, ahead of the Florida primaries on March 17.

Go deeper: Two dead in Florida after exposure to coronavirus from international travel

A look back at the month that erased sports

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Remember when Spike Lee and the Knicks were feuding over his use of the employee entrance? That was in March.

Flashback: We've all seen the countless memes about the unending misery formerly known as March 2020. Here's a snapshot of how the sports world made it through the longest month ever.

Go deeperArrowApr 1, 2020 - Sports