Steve Ballmer apparently isn't the only über-rich CEO who's been mulling over a chance to buy the beleaguered New Orleans Hornets and bring them to his home city. Larry Ellison, Oracle Corp.'s co-founder and CEO, apparently already tried and failed to buy the team.
The San Jose Mercury News has the scoop, updated Thursday evening. Apparently before the NBA bought the Hornets from former owner George Shinn last month, Ellison offered $350 million for the team, but says he was "slightly outbid" by the league.
The Mercury's story came after a blog post on Forbes.com reported that Ellison was interested in buying the team and bringing it back to San Jose--where, presumably, the players would share showers with the Golden State Warriors (a team Ellison also recently tried and failed to buy) who already play at Oracle Arena in Oakland, some 36 miles from San Jose.
But buying a sports team isn't only about how much money you can put up (as the league's lower winning bid for the Hornets seems to prove).
And on that end, Ballmer's got Ellison beat.
NBA commissioner David Stern has said he thinks Ballmer would be a "hell of an owner." He's made no such claims about Ellison.
Once again, however, there are still a handful of reasons why Ballmer won't get to buy the team and fulfill all our hoop dreams (our arena problem, Stern's contraction preference, Kansas City's empty arena, etc.).
But whereas Bay Area folks now know with certainty that they won't be getting a new NBA team, Seattleites can at least enjoy the fact that they haven't been ruled out yet.