After a judge in California Probate court gave an extraordinary ruling to Shelly Sterling and the Sterling Family Trust a couple weeks ago, it was a matter of when not if. Now it is official.
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is officially the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers having purchased the team for $2 billion, the league announced. The NBA’s Board of Governors — the other 29 owners — had previously approved the sale and once the court order came through it was just a matter of finishing up the details of the sale.
“I am humbled and honored to be the new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers,” Ballmer said in a released statement. “Clipper fans are so amazing. They have remained fiercely loyal to our franchise through some extraordinary times. I will be hard core in giving the team,our great coach, staff and players the support they need to do their best work on the court”
Long time Clippers owner Donald Sterling is out. Despite a history of being arguably the worst owner in professional sports over the past 30 years — running the Clippers poorly with profit the motive over quality basketball, plus embarassing the league on multiple occasions — it took TMZ getting ahold of a private conversation taped by a former mistress filled with bigoted comments that pushed the league to make a move. Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling for life, fined him $2.5 million (which has yet to be paid to the league) and said he would force the sale.
-- Kurt Helin, NBC's Pro Basketball Talk