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Microsoft's Ballmer Buys Sterling's Clippers For $2 Billion: Update

| 10 Jun 2014 11:27

Update: Donald Sterling balks at the thought of selling the L.A. Clippers and will continue with his lawsuit against the NBA, his attorney confirms.

At one point it appeared as though Sterling reconciled himself to the sale, but that was when he believed the NBA would rescind his lifetime ban if he agreed to sell the Clippers. The NBA isn't about to revoke the ban no matter what happens, and still intends to fine him $2.5 million, so Sterling will carry on the fight.

Whether or not this will actually prevent the sale remains to be seen. Even if Sterling wins his suit there's no point in asking for damages - though he still might - since wife Shelley has indemnified the NBA against all losses. Assuming a victory, Sterling would effectively be paying himself. If Sterling is to be believed, he's fighting this one - and all but suing himself - on principle alone.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

But will Donald Sterling sign off on the deal? Is his agreement even necessary?

When Donald Sterling got himself banned for life from the NBA after airing some pretty toxic points of view, everyone wondered what would happen to his team, the Los Angeles Clippers. According to early reports, the Clippers have been snapped up by former Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer. Price tag? $2 billion, the most anyone's ever paid for an NBA team, and the second highest price anyone's ever paid for a sports team in North America.

The deal has yet to complete because, according to Sterling's attorney, Sterling's unwilling to sign off. "There's been no sale," says attorney Bobby Samini. "There can be no sale without Donald's signature."

However Sterling's wife Shelly has agreed to the deal, and there have been reports that Sterling's agreement isn't necessary as he's 'mentally incapacitated.' The sale was rushed to completion in order to beat the NBA hearing to oust the Sterling family from ownership, and while Shelly's always been in favor of a sale husband Donald has dithered and fumed.

Completion also requires the agreement of a three-fourths majority of the other 30 NBA owners. However it's likely they'll agree, so long as Ballmer agrees to keep the Clippers in Los Angeles. Ballmer's on record as saying he believes the Clippers should stay in LA, the biggest media market in the country.

"L.A. is one of the world's great cities," says Ballmer, "A city that embraces inclusiveness, in exactly the same way that the NBA and I embrace inclusiveness. I am confident that the Clippers will in the coming years become an even bigger part of the community."

Ballmer is the only one of the bidders who could afford to buy the team with his own money; all the others sought partners to get the deal done.

"I am delighted that we are selling the team to Steve, who will be a terrific owner," says Shelley. "We have worked for 33 years to build the Clippers into a premiere NBA franchise. I am confident that Steve will take the team to new levels of success."

Source: LA Times

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