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Report: Shelly Sterling meets with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to discuss sale of Clippers

May 25, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT


Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer answers questions at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Bellevue, Washington

Reports emerged on Friday that had Donald Sterling agreeing to allow his wife Shelly to oversee a forced sale of the Clippers, and even though the NBA will have plenty to say about any such agreement or eventual sale before something takes place, it appears as though Shelly is beginning the process.

From TMZ:

Shelly Sterling will meet with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Sunday afternoon … and the subject of the meeting is selling the Clippers … TMZ Sports has learned.

The meeting will take place at Shelly’s Malibu mansion.  TMZ Sports broke the story … Donald Sterling has surrendered control of the team to Shelly.

We’re told Shelly sees the handwriting on the wall — the NBA wants the team sold — but she wants to do it on her terms.  She and her lawyer, Pierce O’Donnell,  have been secretly meeting with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to see if they can reach an agreement whereby Shelly has the right to voluntarily sell the team.

Ballmer was part of the group that was trying to buy the Kings and relocate them to Seattle, before Vivek Ranadive came through with an offer to purchase the team and keep them in Sacramento, which was the league’s preference.

Ramona Shelburne of confirmed the report of the meeting, and also pointed out Ballmer’s recent comments in the Wall Street Journal, where he said if he ever was interested in purchasing the Clippers, he would not attempt to move the franchise.

“If I get interested in the Clippers, it would be for Los Angeles,” Ballmer said. “I don’t work anymore, so I have more geographic flexibility than I did a year, year-and-a half ago. Moving them anywhere else would be value destructive.”

Despite the Sterlings’ desire to maintain control over this process, it’s unclear if the league will allow it.

Immediately following Friday’s reports that Shelly would be negotiating a sale of the team, the NBA responded with a release saying it would be continuing on its course to terminate the current ownership interests in the Clippers, which essentially meant that in the league’s eyes, nothing had changed.

Whenever the Clippers do become available for sale somewhat officially, Ballmer may be invited to the bidding party, but so will a whole host of other groups that the NBA will have to choose from.

All that’s certain at the moment is that the league wants the Sterlings ousted as quickly as possible. If Shelly is the one best-equipped to make that happen, the NBA may in fact allow her to negotiate the sale of the team on her family’s terms. But it’s far from the priority at this stage of the proceedings.

  1. gpatrick15 - May 25, 2014 at 8:01 PM

    And it begins…

  2. thekingdave - May 25, 2014 at 8:07 PM

    Awesome. Ballmer is a rock star in the business world.

    • mazblast - May 25, 2014 at 11:04 PM

      And like many rock stars, is more famous for being famous than for actual accomplishments. Under his “leadership”, Microsoft went from complete domination of the computer world to just being huge and profitable.

    • redbaronx - May 26, 2014 at 5:50 AM

      @thekingdave – Ballmer is a buffoon in the business world and a joke. Try looking up one of his “speeches” sometime. He looks about as crazy as Sam Kinneson, but not in a funny way! Daddy (Bill Gates) handed him the keys to the car and Ballmer decided to play “bumper cars” with the car and is lucky he didn’t drive it over the cliff!

  3. luz56 - May 25, 2014 at 8:11 PM

    Get the tight owner in LA and watch the Hollywood Fakers become second fiddle…it’s no as important today about the name on the front but the dollars on the check.

    • xonxrocket - May 25, 2014 at 9:53 PM

      You wish.

  4. eugenesaxe1 - May 25, 2014 at 9:12 PM

    Wonder how much that would affect the Seattle deal, he was a minority partner there. Shouldn’t cause any problems, people are lined up to buy into the league.

  5. mazblast - May 25, 2014 at 11:05 PM

    Has anyone seen anything in writing from Donald “Sterling” saying he’s letting his wife control anything? Until he signs off, she can’t sell the team and the league should proceed accordingly.

  6. redbaronx - May 26, 2014 at 5:46 AM

    So there’s all of these minorities lined up to buy the team, and who is Shelley interested in? Steve Ballmer, the craziest white guy you can find that has money.

  7. rrhoe - May 26, 2014 at 8:25 AM

    Not understanding why the league seems to be trying do dictate who they sell the team to.

  8. johnheisman - May 26, 2014 at 11:24 AM

    I was trying to have a lengthy response to this quote but my windows operating system keeps crashing.

  9. jerdogthompson - May 26, 2014 at 1:16 PM


    The league will not dictate who the team is sold to, what they will dictate is that it gets handled quickly and under no circumstance that any Sterling be allowed to remain an owner of any percentage of the team, except zero.


  10. jcrileyesq - May 27, 2014 at 12:38 AM

    the league has to approve the sale of any team, so in essence they can dictate who it is sold to. if a “rush limubaugh” type come in with the highest purchase price they league will not approve the sale.

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