LAS VEGAS -- Boxing superstar Floyd "Money" Mayweather is the highest-earning athlete in the world, but he's still going to need to get a lot of his wealthy friends together if he's going to pull off his latest scheme.
Mayweather said during a half-hour meeting with the media Tuesday at the MGM Grand Garden that he is interested in purchasing the Los Angeles Clippers from embattled owner Donald Sterling.
Mayweather, while promoting his fight on Saturday at the MGM against Marcos Maidana, said he called his powerful adviser, Al Haymon, earlier Tuesday to discuss putting together a group.
"Actually, I called Al today about that, to see if me, Leonard [Ellerbe], Richard [Schaefer], Al and a couple of my billionaire guys could come together and see what we could come up with," said Mayweather, a devoted bettor on NBA games. "Let's see if we can do it, and it's not just talk. I wouldn't mind. Once I get ownership in the Clippers, I could no longer bet. I'd have to stop that completely.
"You know with me, I can't come in here and talk about, 'Mayweather's only going to get three percent, four percent.' I've got to get a solid percentage. Do we want to buy the Clippers? Yes, we do. We're very, very interested in buying the Clippers."
Mayweather has a home in Los Angeles and attends many Clippers game and is friends with many of their players. He also had nothing bad to say about Sterling, whose racist remarks have caused NBA commissioner Adam Silver to ban him for life and implore fellow NBA owners to force him to sell the franchise.
But Mayweather wouldn't bash Sterling.
"Donald Sterling, he's been getting a lot of negative press," Mayweather said. "My thing is this: I don't have nothing negative to say about this guy. He's always treated me with the utmost respect. He has always invited me to games. Always. He's always told me, 'Floyd, I want you to sit right next to me and my wife.' I don't know about the mistress, but I'm talking about him and the wife. But the mistress has always tried to send girls by me and I'd be like, 'No.' I was always like, 'No, this is my guy's seat.' "
But whether the NBA would welcome Mayweather into its exclusive fraternity is another matter. Mayweather made questionable comments about race in the past. In 2010, he referred to rival Manny Pacquiao as a "yellow chump," and a "midget" in a video he released. He said in it, "Once I stomp the midget, I'll make that [expletive] make me a sushi roll and cook me some rice."
After Mayweather's interest in buying the NBA club was made public, former boxer Oscar De La Hoya also announced a desire to purchase the Clippers.
"The league has made it known that it wants more minorities involved, and as a proud Mexican-American, I will bring a different perspective to the NBA in general, and the Clippers in particular," De La Hoya said in a release by Golden Boy Promotions. "I was born and raised in Los Angeles, I know what it takes to run a successful sports entity and nothing would make me happier than to bring an NBA Championship home to Southern California sports fans."