Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Inks Deal To Acquire Los Angeles Clippers For $2 Billion

It's being reported that a deal has been made to sell the Los Angeles Clippers to Steve Ballmer, 58, the former chief executive officer (CEO) of Microsoft. Shelly Sterling, estranged wife of disgraced Clippers controlling owner Donald Sterling, signed off on the agreement as sole trustee of the Sterling family trust. The deal will now be sent straight to the NBA for final approval.

Despite inking the agreement, Ballmer may want to hold off on popping open a bottle of bubbly. For one, the deal requires approval by the league office, and if it's granted, it must then be approved by three-fourths of the league's owners. Neither of those potential roadblocks are expected to stand in the way of Ballmer acquiring the Clippers.

Steve Ballmer
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

However, it remains to be seen if Donald Sterling, who is 80 years old, decides to fight the sale in court. According to an ESPN report, experts found Donald to be "mentally incapacitated." The rules of the trust allow for such a declaration without a court hearing, which in turn allowed Shelly to negotiate a sale with Ballmer.

The events that led to the forced sale started when an audio recording of Donald making racist comments was leaked to the web. In the recording, Donald wasn't happy that his then-girlfriend V. Stiviano, 31, posted a picture to Instagram of herself posing with NBA legend Magic Johnson. During the conversation, Donald told Stiviano not to post pictures of herself associating with black people and not to bring black people to his basketball games.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver acted swiftly in banning Donald Sterling for life from all NBA functions and levying a $2.5 million fine, the most allowed under NBA bylaws. Following the ban, NBA owners were scheduled to vote on whether or not to force Donald to sell the Clippers. Donald has gone back and forth on saying whether or not he would fight the sale of the team in court.

Los Angeles Clippers
Image Source: Creative Commons

A vote has not yet taken place, nor would one need to take place if the sale to Ballmer is allowed to go through. Under terms of the sale, Ballmer would own 100 percent of the team.

"Steve Ballmer owning the Clippers is a big win for the city of L.A. and all the people who live in the City of Angels!," Magic Johnson posted to Twitter following news of the sale.