What would you do with $2 billion?
Sunday, June 01, 2014 12:19 AM
Simply put, $2 billion is a ton of money. An absurd amount of money.
As I’m guessing you might have heard, $2 billion is what former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has agreed to pay to buy the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers from banned owner and documented racist Donald Sterling.
Of course, there are some legal hurdles to jump through, but I’m guessing this is a deal that eventually gets done. Ballmer (estimated net worth: $20 billion) has been attempting to buy an NBA franchise for a while, and the NBA can’t put Sterling in the rear view mirror fast enough.
The $2 billion price tag for the Clippers sent shockwaves through the sports world late last week, and reasonably so. While they enjoyed some relative success recently, the Clippers have long been a laughingstock in the NBA, and most certainly in Los Angeles, where they have always played “little brother” to my beloved Lakers.
But, I can see where the team would command a huge asking price.
They share the best arena in basketball, the Staples Center, with the Lakers. It’s in a primo location in downtown L.A. and is surrounded by the bustling L.A. Live entertainment district. I’ve been blessed to attend a game there and it was a phenomenal experience.
The Clips also have a nice group of young stars (Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, etc.) and the team’s local TV contract, which generates $20 million a year in revenue, is set to come up for renegotiation in 2016. League experts expect the new deal will command even more cash.
Still, $2 billion? Man, 2 billion smackers. That’s a lot of lettuce.
News of the sale prompted Index-Journal staff writer/Young Republican Frank Bumb to stop by my desk Friday morning for a little chat.
“Did you hear about the Clippers deal?” Bumb asked. “$2 billion! What would you do with $2 billion?”
While I took a minute to ponder the question, Bumb offered that, if he had $2 billion, he would identify all of his enemies, then purchase the companies they work for and fire them all. Seeing as how most of his enemies are government officials, I think he might find that difficult.
Still, Bumb’s question gave me pause. What would I do with $2 billion?
I THINK MOST EVERYONE, even reasonably wealthy people, have pondered what they would do if they had a seemingly unfathomable amount of money, like $2 billion.
So, what would I do if I had $2 billion?
Well, let’s see. First of all, I’d give 10 percent to the church. If I get my hands on $2 billion, I’m not testing the Lord. He’ll get his 10.
Of course, Uncle Sam has to get a cut. I’d make sure that was taken care of properly. I’m always left shaking my head when celebrities/rich people get thrown in the slammer for not paying their taxes. JUST PAY YOUR TAXES.
I would definitely take care of my family and close friends. Pay off some mortgages, boost up some college savings accounts, fund some group vacations. You’ve got to take care of the ones who take care of you.
And then there are various things I would help out with around town.
I would use some of the money to help get the Seaboard recreation center back on its feet. We’d get the gym taken care of and fix up the pool and hire some people to staff it. That needs to get done.
The Grace Street Park? Done. Just so long as they name it after my grandmother. Edith McElrath Park sound good to me.
I would bribe the Greenwood Chamber into putting Dr. Benjamin E. Mays in the Greenwood County Hall of Fame. I mean properly put him in, not just giving him a side honor. My columns attempting to shame them into doing it haven’t worked, so maybe a million dollars would do it.
Of course, some of the money would be used to pay off executive editor Richard Whiting’s robust tab at Lucy’s Love Shop. How much latex does one man need, anyway? And where does he keep all those batteries?
Outside of that, I would probably just hang out and go to ballgames and movies. Which is basically what I do now. I’d just do a lot more of it.
Oh, and I’d get a subscription to the New York Times, which would probably take up the balance of the money.
So, what would you do with $2 billion?
Trainor is the senior staff writer at the Index-Journal. Contact him at 864-943-5650; email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow him on Twitter @IJCHRISTRAINOR. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper’s opinion.