Posted by Ben Golliver.
Back in October, Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson sold his stake in the team. Within weeks, rumors surfaced that the Basketball Hall of Famer was interested in owning another NBA team or perhaps bringing the NFL back to Los Angeles.
It's been nearly a year and nothing substantive has developed on the basketball and football fronts. But do Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Dodgers represent a potential new target?
The Dodgers have dealt with all sorts of financial problems recently, culminating in a filing for bankruptcy protection in June. The team's owner, Frank McCourt, is in a fairly desperate situation and a deep-pocketed celebrity with local connections like Johnson would seem like a dream candidate to take the team off of his hands.
Johnson, who happens to own a stake in a minor league baseball team, was asked about his interest in the Dodgers at a recent forum hosted by a Los Angeles Times writer at Loyola Maramount University.
"If the Dodgers ever came up for sale," Johnson said. "Would I take a look at it with some other people? Of course you would look at it. Because the brand is so strong. As we speak today, they do have an owner. It's never good to talk about an organization that already has an owner. I will say this: the Dodgers brand is amazing. The O'Malley family were great owners."
The O'Malley family owned the Dodgers from the organization's time in Brooklyn through to 1998, when the family sold to News Corporation, who in turn sold the team to the McCourts in 2004. Under the O'Malley family, the Dodgers appeared in the World Series nine times after the move from Brooklyn, winnning five titles, including two in the 1980s.
Johnson clearly remembers that legacy of winning.
"When I hit this town over 30 years ago, the Lakers were on Page 3," Johnson said. "The Dodgers were on the front page of Sports. This was a Dodgers town. It was amazing the run the Dodgers had when I first hit this town. This town has a love affair with the Dodgers that was amazing. [Former manager Tommy] Lasorda was probably the most special, colorful manager, he knew baseball. It was a special time. I was always wondering, 'When will the Lakers get on the front page of the L.A. Times?' We had a lot of work to do. We sure won this town over. I remember when the Dodgers were the team."
So, will Johnson decide to turn the team into his team?
Here's the video of Johnson's comments courtesy of YouTube user losangelestimes.