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Shelly Sterling officially announces sale of Clippers to Steve Ballmer, both release statements

May 30, 2014, 7:59 AM EDT

It’s all official… except for the going to court thing.

Shelly Sterling released a statement through her attorney that she, acting as the lone trustee of the Sterling Family Trust that owns the Los Angeles Clippers, has agreed to sell the NBA franchise to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. She can act as the lone trustee after having her husband Donald Sterling, who has been the recognized primary owner of the team by the NBA for more than three decades, declared mentally incapacitated.

She and Ballmer also released statements.

“I am delighted that we are selling the team to Steve, who will be a terrific owner,” Shelly Sterling said in her statement. “We have worked for 33 years to build the Clippers into a premiere NBA franchise. I am confident Steve will take the team to new levels of success.”

“I will be honored to have my name submitted to the NBA Board of Governors for approval as the next owner of the Los Angeles Clippers,” Ballmer said in his statement. “I love basketball. And I intend to do everything in my power to ensure that the Clippers continue to win – and win big – in Los Angeles.”

Ballmer’s $2 billion bid (which was reportedly originally $1.8 billion but apparently was upped in negotiations) was higher than what was offered by multiple other suitors. The powerhouse group led by David Geffen (which included Larry Ellison and Oprah Winfrey) reportedly offered $1.6 billion.

The NBA has yet to comment on any of this.

Reports had surfaced on Thursday that if a completed sale agreement — at a price the league liked with a new owner they were interested in — was sent to them in time they would cancel the NBA Board of Governors meeting scheduled for June 3. At that meeting the other 29 NBA owners would conduct a hearing then vote on whether to strip Sterling of his ownership of the franchise in response to the backlash that followed his prejudiced comments on a recording released to TMZ, plus later in a CNN interview.

But does the league see this as a legal move by Shelly Sterling? If it has questions, would the league be better off rejecting this sale as not valid, going through with the June 3 hearing, voting to revoke the Sterling’s franchise rights, then selling the team again themselves (likely at the same price or higher)? That train of action would lead to another round of lawsuits.

Whatever happens this is headed to the courts.

Donald Sterling also has not as of yet released a statement on the proposed sale. In his 32-page response to the league’s official charges he was defiant, with his attorney allegedly saying they planned to fight the forced sale until “the bloody end.”

The smart money is on this entire process, starting with Donald being declared mentally incapacitated, it headed to the courts.

Meanwhile NBA fans — not to mention Clippers players — hope the sale goes through so this entire saga will just end.

  1. RavenzGunnerz - May 30, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    Just wondering if the Lakers are prepared to become Clippers’ little brother?

    Don’t worry Lakers, it’s only gonna take a few months to adjust. They Clippers now, have the richest owner in the NBA. All great FAs will first choose the Clippers over the Lakers. Lakers owners are now clueless on what to do next. Just kids who have no knowledge of basketball operations and want to run the team…

    Fun times ahead.

    • realfootballfan - May 30, 2014 at 10:47 AM

      It’s a strange role reversal, isn’t it? Now, the Lakers have the bumbling idiot owner as Jim is the antithesis of his father and Ballmer is richer than any other owner in the league.

    • asimonetti88 - May 30, 2014 at 11:53 AM

      I like how people are acting like Steve Ballmer is some business genius, and not some bumbling idiot who basically lucked into Microsoft’s CEO job. There’s a reason Microsoft stock shot up after he announced retirement, after 13 years of stagnation… 13 years that happened to coincide with Ballmer’s tenure as CEO. Steve Ballmer, the genius that brought you the Zune, Windows Vista and let iOS destroy a successful Windows Mobile only to bring out an even less successful Windows Phone.

      • antistratfordian - May 30, 2014 at 4:03 PM

        You don’t need to be a business genius to own and operate a winning sports franchise… clearly. If you had a dollar for every NBA owner that runs a business somewhere that is past its prime – you’d have 30 dollars.

  2. ranfan12 - May 30, 2014 at 8:21 AM

    Please don’t take them to Seattle. That’s all I ask

    • asimonetti88 - May 30, 2014 at 5:28 PM

      Please do.

      All of Los Angeles

  3. hwatt - May 30, 2014 at 9:06 AM

    you can be sure the nba will look at every letter of the paperwork in this one, just to make sure the Sterlings are actually gone. common sense should prevail in letting them do this, though.

  4. illmatic8582 - May 30, 2014 at 9:44 AM

    I am glad that Magic or Mayweather did not end up owning it. Was pulling for Grant Hill TBH

  5. sdelmonte - May 30, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    Bill Gates retires, and works to give away all his money to worthy causes.

    Steve Ballmer retires, and buys a basketball team and makes a family of reprobates even richer in the process.

    I know who I want my kids to emulate.

    • RavenzGunnerz - May 30, 2014 at 9:58 AM

      I would love my kids to emulate ballmer and make me billions. Wtf is wrong with you man? Are you suggesting that ballmer does not do any community work?

      • sdelmonte - May 30, 2014 at 11:52 AM

        I’m suggesting that Gates has his priorities straight. Nothing wrong with doing what you want with your money. But I can’t really wrap my brain around spending all that money on a sports team when there are better things to do with it. Guess at heart I am not a capitalist.

    • imnotyourbuddyguy - May 30, 2014 at 12:08 PM

      The Ballmers once wrote a check for 10 million for kids in foster care, what have you done?

    • realfootballfan - May 31, 2014 at 2:28 AM

      Well, the guy is worth $18-$20 billions, so this is hardly much of his money, lol.

  6. realfootballfan - May 30, 2014 at 10:44 AM

    Like I said when Silver came down with his discipline, this would go off without a hitch before the next season started.

  7. tomasekradek - May 30, 2014 at 10:44 AM

    Peace out Donald

  8. addict2sport - May 30, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    Yeah, because the richest owners have a long long history of their wealth being the main reason their teams win championships.

  9. csbanter - May 30, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    Well Brooklyn Nets fan can no longer hold claim to having the richest owner in the NBA. Ballmer is top dogg now.

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