The NBA hopes it's just made a game saving shot.
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer plans to buy the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion dollars. The deal -- which must still be approved by the NBA -- would come after the NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said he would force current owner Donald Sterling to sell after he made several racist and vulgar remarks in a recorded call.
There's a photo making the rounds of Steve Ballmer at a playoff game earlier this month, with Commissioner Adam Silver in his ear. Wharton Business School Professor Kenneth Shropshire says it's easy to imagine Silver making his pitch to Ballmer right then.
"If you think about the kinds of people you would speak to, Ballmer would certainly be on your list to court," he says.
That's because Ballmer's worth $20 billion dollars, making him one of the richest people on the planet.
Only one of the richest people on the planet can afford to pay a record $2 billion dollars for an NBA team, a deal the league hopes is sweet enough to discourage Sterling from tying up the sale in court.
Going forward, Emory University's Mike Lewis says the NBA would be psyched to have a deep-pocketed guy own the Clippers.
"You know they are sort of the New York Mets or the Chicago White Sox. They are the second team in that city. I think it's really attractive to the league to essentially have two really strong franchises in a major city like LA," he says.
Disposing of Sterling and the Clippers going deep into the playoffs -- for NBA owners that would be fantastic.
Bono and The Edge – the singer and guitarist for U2 – will join the board of directors at the Fender Musical Instruments Corporation.
Fender guitars are revered by musicians.
Brian Majeski, an editor at The Music Trades magazine, says Fender does “not need these guys to burnish their credibility with musicians or the music-buying public.”
But, across the industry, guitar sales are down 10 – 15 percent from their peak in 2008.
Perhaps the issue is not supply, but too little demand.
“Maybe this slump in guitar sales is a lot of kids aren’t learning to play the guitar because it’s hard,” says Jimmy Griffin, who manages Killer Vintage, a guitar shop in St. Louis.
Griffin says he never would have bothered learning the guitar if he knew that he could be a rock star with just two turn-tables and a microphone or a computer.
On Monday, when the White House rolls out President Barack Obama’s biggest climate change initiative—proposed rules to limit the carbon dioxide created by existing power plants — there will be greenhouse-gas reduction goals set for every state. And in terms of carbon emissions, states are, well, all over the map.
That's one way to count. Here's another:
The second one gives a clue as to which states are buring the most carbon-intensive fuel -- coal.
"You’ve got some states such as North Dakota or Wyoming where they’re nearly 100 percent coal, so they have very high emissions intensities," says John Larsen, an analyst at the Rhodium Group, an energy consulting firm.
Meanwhile, Washington gets much of its power from zero-emissions hydro-electric dams.
Some of the variation depends on, yes, the lay of the land. "It’s not just natural resources, in terms of rivers or sun or wind," says Ethan Zindler with Bloomberg New Energy Finance. "It’s also, 'Do you have an ample supply of fossil fuel nearby?' So, it's not shocking that Kentucky is heavily-reliant on coal for power-generation, since there is a good deal of coal locally available."
And some places -- like California and some New England states -- already have programs going to carbon emissions.
That could mean a head start when EPA rules go into effect. "Some people will come to the table and say, 'Well, those states are going to be advantaged here,'" says Sara Hayes with the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.
However: Which states actually get a head start will depend on how the EPA writes its rules.
"There’s 25 states that already have energy efficiency savings plans in place," says Hayes. "People will come to the table and say, 'Those 25 states, they’re ahead of the game.' And others will say, 'Well a state that hasn’t done anything yet...'" Will the abundance of low-hanging fruit be an advantage? Until Monday's announcement, nobody knows.