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Ellison loses bid for US basketball franchise

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Larry Ellison, as you all know, is accustomed to getting his way. But even the richest billionaire in Silicon Valley can't always get what he wants. And so it is with Ellison's desire to own the Golden State Warriors, where the chief executive officer of Oracle missed the jump ball to a Joe Lacob, a partner at Silicon Valley venture capital hot-shot Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Perhaps it is a kind of revenge from Menlo Park? Perhaps Ellison should have bid on the Phoenix Suns instead? Perhaps some of the money that Lacob had to play with came from the fact that Kleiner Perkins was an early investor in the darling of the dot-com era, Sun Microsystems?

Ellison has wanted to own the Warriors for some time now, and at a press conference in the wake of the acquisition of Sun Microsystems in late January, there were almost as many questions from what was presumably a hand-picked crowd about Ellison's America's Cup yacht team and his impending bid for the Warriors as there were about what Oracle would do with Sun. Oracle has the naming rights to the Warrior's stadium in Oakland already, which is across the San Francisco bay from the hardware software giant's Redwood City headquarters.

According to various reports, Lacob outbid Ellison with a $450m bag of cash. This is the most money anyone has paid for a basketball team, the previous record being the $401m in cash that Robert Sarver, a San Diego banker, paid for the - wait for it - Phoenix Suns in 2004.

Maybe Ellison should set his sights on the Raiders? This seems more appropriate in so many ways. ®

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