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Yao Ming is latest celeb to eye a deal to buy Clippers: report

LOS ANGELES--Retired Chinese superstar Yao Ming is lining up investors to make a bid for the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers if embattled owner Donald Sterling has to sell, ESPN.com reported on Friday.

Yao is just the latest celebrity to be linked to a potential Clippers bid since Sterling was engulfed in a scandal over racially charged remarks that became public in April.

ESPN, citing unnamed sources, said that Yao and another former NBA player, Grant Hill, were working separately to find investors to launch bids.

Celebrity gossip website TMZ and other U.S. media outlets reported Friday that Sterling has surrendered control of the club to his estranged wife, Shelly, who is in talks with the league to sell the team.

The Clippers are valued at nearly US$600 million by Forbes magazine and could fetch substantially more given the publicity surrounding the team and its location in a major U.S. market.

Other big names said to be interested in purchasing the clippers include software billionaire Larry Ellison, entertainment mogul David Geffen and television powerhouse Oprah Winfrey, along with former Los Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson and unbeaten boxer Floyd Mayweather.

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