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Larry Ellison to buy Golden State Warriors?

That's the speculation by *Mercury News* reporter Tim Kawakami in a [column ](http://www.mercurynews.com/topstories/ci_12789923?nclick_check=1)today. Citing several "high placed sources," Kawakami said current Warriors owner Chris Cohan recently held buy-out talks with Oracle's billionaire CEO as well as the four-person group that owns a twenty percent share of the franchise.

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Oracle already owns naming rights to the Warriors home arena, referred to locally as "The Oracle." The four minority owners are tech heavyweights in their own right:

Michael Marks is former CEO of Flextronics and currently a partner in [Riverwood Capital](http://riverwoodcapital.com/team.html); Jim Davidson is co-founder and chairman of mega-tech investor [Silver Lake](http://www.silverlake.com/employee.php?page=team&id=3); [John Thompson](http://www.symantec.com/about/profile/management/directors/bio.jsp?bioid=john_thompson) is former CEO and current chairman of Symantec and [Fred Harman i](http://www.oakvc.com/team/detail/fred/)s a managing partner of tech investor Oak Investment Partners.

Kawakami said the Warriors franchise was valued at about $300 million back in 2004, but it's not known what the current asking price might be. Cohan has resisted earlier offers to buy the team, which, save for two playoff runs has had mostly losing seasons during his 15-year tenure. Kawakami said a sale could happen "in a year or two, if not much sooner" subject to review and approval of the NBA.

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If the billionaire Ellison is determined to buy the Warriors, Kawakami correctly notes there is no one likely to match him dollar for dollar. (His buddy Steve Jobs is not a sports fan).

Ellison would join Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft, as among notable tech heavyweights to also own a professional sports team. Allen owns the NBA Portland Trailblazers.

And let's not forget [HDNet ](http://www.hd.net) founder Mark Cuban. Cuban made billions off the sale of Broadcast.com in 1999 to Yahoo which led to his purchase of the Dallas Mavericks the next year for $285 million from Ross Perot, Jr. (son of former presidential candidate Ross Perot), the chairman of Perot Systems.

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