Oracle's Larry Ellison has his sights on the one underperforming San Francisco Bay Area institution he has yet to purchase: the Golden State Warriors.
Ellison, a billionaire many times over, has long been linked with rumors about his interest in owning a sports franchise. But during an event Wednesday outlining Oracle's plans for its integration of Silicon Valley icon Sun Microsystems, Ellison confirmed his interest in the Warriors, joking "unfortunately, you can't have a hostile takeover of a basketball team," according to a report from MarketWatch.
The Warriors are a perennial Bay Area disappointment, with passionate fans but underperforming teams the last several decades. This year's squad has faced the usual assortment of injuries, front-office drama, and player revolts in stumbling to a 13-30 record following Tuesday's loss to the Sacramento Kings.
Oracle already owns the naming rights to the home of the Warriors, the Oracle Arena in Oakland. The team is currently owned by Christopher Cohan, who has run the team since 1995 but has produced a grand total of one playoff team during that tenure, the memorable "We Believe" squad that took down the heavily favored Dallas Mavericks in an epic first-round upset.
The Warriors were valued at $315 million in Forbes' December 2009 ranking of National Basketball Association teams. That's a pittance for Ellison, who is considered the third-richest person in America according to Forbes, which pegged his net worth at $22.5 billion in 2009.
And if he successfully manages to make Sun the latest addition to Oracle's massive portfolio, surely he can figure out what to do with Don Nelson.