Jul 28, 2014, 6:34 PM EDT
Donald Sterling, done in by his own idiocy several times over, has effectively run out of chances to keep the Clippers any longer than it takes to complete the paperwork of a sale.
Make no mistake, Sterling was going to lose his team no matter what. He was essentially fighting for which method of removal would end his demonstrably racist reign.
This is how he goes down, losing a legal battle to prevent his wife, Shelly Sterling, from selling the team on his behalf. Shelly will soon make her $2 billion sale to Steve Ballmer thanks to a judge’s ruling today.
Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times:
The following statement has been issued by Mike Bass, Executive Vice President, Communications, regarding today’s probate court ruling regarding the Sterling Family Trust:
“We are pleased that the court has affirmed Shelly Sterling’s right to sell the Los Angeles Clippers to Steve Ballmer. We look forward to the transaction closing as soon as possible.”
It’s also a huge win for the other NBA owners, who don’t have to deal with the nasty task of voting out one of their own and get a $2 billion sale on the record that inflates the values of everyone’s franchises. Yes, the league wanted Sterling out no matter what, but this was the most profitable – not the quickest – way to achieve that goal, and don’t forget that fact as everyone celebrates Sterling’s downfall.
One more huge winner: Steve Ballmer, who gets an NBA team. He might have overpaid, but that’s his choice, and the judge affirmed his right to make it.
The loser is Donald. This saga isn’t over, but with his ability to appeal restricted, I can’t see how he blocks the sale any longer. Soon, the team will be Ballmer’s and Donald’s legal fight seeking financial remedies will fade into the background. At that point, I don’t care much how billionaires split up their money.
Donald is out, which is good. If you want to feel icky about this whole affair, I hardly blame you. I’m not exactly looking forward to a Ballmer reign that leaves Shelly a visible part of the franchise just so other owners can inflate their own wallets, but here we are.
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