Date: 09/29/2014

Grant Hill’s full court press: He wants to own an NBA team

After back-to-back college championships at Duke and a nearly 20-year professional career, seven-time NBA All-Star Grant Hill said his next dream is owning his own NBA team.

Rebounding from a $1.2 billion failed bid to buy the Los Angeles Clippers, Hill is going back to the drawing board and looking for the next opportunity to become an owner.

“We made a strong attempt for the Clippers that we thought was pretty aggressive but in the end we came up short,” Hill said on CNBC’s “Fast Money Halftime Report.”

More than six bidders, including Hill and his partners Tony Ressler and Bruce Karsh, bid on the Clippers in August after the Sterling Family Trust put the team up for sale following racist remarks by longtime team owner Donald Sterling. Ultimately, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was the highest bidder, purchasing the team for a record $2 billion.

“It would be more disappointing if it was a closer winning bid but you can’t argue with that [$2 billion],” Hill said. “For that team and franchise, I think someone like Ballmer, with his passion, energy and deep pockets, is what is needed.”

Hill, managing principal of Penta Mezzanine Fund and an NBA analyst on Turner Sports, said he won’t let his failed bid discourage him from future attempts at team ownership.

“I’m an insider. I have goodwill from my time in the league and a unique perspective that most owners don’t have,” he said.

After playing for four separate NBA teams, Hill said he spent a lot of time educating himself and talking to executives like former Detroit Pistons Owner William Davidson about the business side of the NBA.

“I spent a lot of time picking his brain,” Hill said.

Hill said he’s bullish on the NBA and expects team valuations and player salaries to continue to rise over the next 10 to 15 years.

Clearly aware of supply and demand, Hill said: “It’s a great asset and there is only 30 of them.”

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