Not so, Ellison insists, swearing that his bid was the highest. Moments after the sale, Ellison fired off a pointed statement reprinted on Tim Kawakami's Mercury News blog.
"Although I was the highest bidder, Chris Cohan decided to sell to someone else. In my experience this is a bit unusual," Ellison said in his statement.
In the excessively courteous and diplomatic language of press releases, "a bit unusual" means "the stupidest &%$#@ thing I have ever seen in my life."
Ellison did grit his teeth and ended the statement on a nice note. "I wish the Warriors and their fans nothing but success under their new ownership."
To Warriors fans who had their hearts set on Ellison, the Bay Area's favorite ruthless and obnoxious billionaire, this represents just one more way that outgoing owner Chris Cohan has managed to screw up, miscalculate or snakebite the franchise.
And I'm no seasoned auctioneer or anything, but it does seem a little odd for an auction to be won by the runner-up bid.
Nothing to see here, insists the auctioneer, Sal Galatioto of GSP Sports Bankers.
Galatioto says Ellison's group ignored the deadlines.
"We had a deal with another buyer group," Galatioto swore."(Ellison) did not come back with a bid that was slightly higher until hours before we were ready to close."
In other words, the auctioneer says Ellison's highest bid was too little, too late. But there is no reason for any Warriors fans not named Larry Ellison to be upset about this development.
If the Bay Area has replaced the owner whose Wikipedia page they most love to hate on, then it's a winning case of addition by subtraction for the Warriors.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who is no seasoned auctioneer but can still do a pretty good "NAHHHH-ninety-fye-ninety-fye-ninety-fye-hundred-NAHHH-hundrid-ten-hundrid-ten-hundrid-ten-NAHHH!" once he has a couple of draft beers in him.