Clippers sold to Steve Ballmer, NBA confirms

It’s official. Donald Sterling no longer owns the Los Angeles Clippers. The NBA sent out a news release this afternoon confirming the sale of the team to ex-Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer. It reads:

“The transaction in which Steve Ballmer purchased the Los Angeles Clippers closed today following the entry of an order by a California court confirming the authority of Shelly Sterling, on behalf of the Sterling Family Trust, to sell the team.

The NBA Board of Governors previously approved the sale and Ballmer is now the Clippers Governor.”

The proposed $2 billion sale of the team closed just days after a California judge rejected Donald Sterling’s latest appeal, which according to Yahoo Sports, “contended that allowing the sale to take place would mean the loss of a ‘unique and irretrievable asset … one of 30 NBA franchises’ for Sterling.”

The appeal court answered back, “There is nothing for this court to review.”

The sale to Ballmer, whose net worth is $21.3 billion according to Forbes, comes after months of dramatic events that began when audio tapes emerged of ex-owner Donald Sterling having an argument with his girlfriend V. Stiviano. Sterling was caught saying racist remarks that goaded NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to ban him for life and essentially force Sterling to sell the Clippers.

Eventually, Sterling’s wife Shelly became involved when she had her estranged husband rendered mentally unfit and took over the family trust — a position she needed to go forth with the sale of the Clippers to Ballmer. Donald Sterling took his wife to court but lost in July and his appeals have not worked.

Many see the finality of the sale as the start of a better era for the Clippers, one in which the team can concentrate less on managerial controversy and once again on basketball.

Marissa Payne writes for The Early Lead, a fast-breaking sports blog, where she focuses on what she calls the “cultural anthropological” side of sports, aka “mostly the fun stuff.” She is also an avid WWE fan.
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