Clippers for sale? Six potential celebrity buyers.

As the NBA begins the likely messy process of forcing Donald Sterling to sell the Los Angeles Clippers after giving him a lifetime league ban and a $2.5 million fine, a big question looms: If the NBA and its owners can get Sterling to sell, who will be the team's new owner?

Names of potential candidates started flying around even before Commissioner Adam Silver’s press conference yesterday – Magic Johnson’s ownership group has reportedly expressed interest, and they may have a little competition. Frankie Muniz, a former child star best known for the long-running TV series “Malcolm in the Middle,” has thrown his hat into the ring, at least in fun. “I will buy the Los Angeles Clippers,” he tweeted Tuesday.

And the ranks of potential celebrity owners are growing fast. Even if Sterling agrees to let go of the team without a fight, it will be some time before any sale is completed. But just for fun, let’s take a look at the famous names being linked to a Clippers buy, and the qualities that could help them as NBA owners. First on the list:

1. Frankie Muniz

Chris Pizzello/AP/File
Frankie Muniz, left, poses with fellow 'Malcolm in the MIddle,' cast members Bryan Cranston and Jane Kaczmarek (far r.) and the show's creator Linwood Boomer after Cranston received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame last year in Los Angeles. Muniz has been a dedicated Clippers fan for most of his life.

Job: Actor (retired)

Net worth: $40 million ( via Celebrity Net Worth)

What would make him a good owner? Muniz’s is not a tale of former-child-star woe; he (or someone around him) has been smart enough to turn earnings from his TV show and movies in the late 90s and early aughts into a more-than-comfortable nest egg. Plus, he’s been a Clipper devotee since before such a thing existed: According to a post on his Facebook page, he began rooting for the team while playing the video game "NBA Live 95" on his Super Nintendo.

“To be honest, they were the only team that I didn't know who any of the players on the team were, so I didn't mind deleting them and making myself, my mom, dad and my cats (Polly and Pete) the new starting lineup for the team on the game.” he explains. “From that day forward in 1994, I have been a die-hard Clippers fan.”

When he moved to Los Angeles to shoot “Malcolm in the Middle,” he became a Clippers season ticket holder and attended every game he could until 2008, when he moved to Phoenix. That means he sat through some pretty dreadful Clippers seasons.

Of course, $40 million is nice, but it’s chump change compared to what the Clippers are expected to fetch. According to many analysts, Muniz would need to scrape together somewhere between $1 billion and $1.5 billion to buy the team on his own. But becoming part of a larger ownership group would certainly be in his grasp, and another high-profile potential owner has just that…

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