Ice Cube’s underdog bid to acquire 21 regional sports networks from Walt Disney Co. just got some more VIP support.
Magic Johnson, the NBA Hall of Famer who just stepped down as president of the Los Angeles Lakers, will be joining the bidding group, Ice Cube said in a tweet today. The rapper-actor is attempting to buy the so-called RSNs through his 3-on-3 basketball league, Big3, and plans to air content from celebrities and athletes such as Snoop Dogg and Serena Williams. Will Smith has also joined the project.
It’s not clear if Johnson will be lending financial support to the effort, but he now has more time in his schedule. He abruptly resigned as the Lakers’ head of basketball operations earlier this month, citing a desire to return to a more normal — and enjoyable — lifestyle. The Lakers missed the playoffs in superstar LeBron James’s first season with the team, disappointing fans. Johnson also is a part-owner in the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Big3 didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Disney just received its final-round bids for the sports networks. The offers — amounting to more than $10 billion — were submitted by Big3, John Malone’s Liberty Media Corp. and Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., people familiar with the matter said this week. Liberty is teaming up with Major League Baseball on its proposal.