The Donald Sterling era is officially over.
The NBA announced Tuesday that the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is complete. After a California court handed down the order that Shelly Sterling had the right to sell the team on behalf of the Sterling Family Trust, Ballmer was finally able to make good on his $2 billion bid for the Clippers. The NBA Board of Governors had previously approved the sale following Ballmer’s bid.
Ballmer, former Microsoft CEO who bought team for $2 billion, is now the Clippers’ governor, league says.
— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) August 12, 2014
This is a huge step forward for the NBA and the Clippers. When NBA commissioner Adam Silver handed down his severe punishment following the latest controversy of racism involving Donald Sterling, there were doubts about how quickly the NBA could replace the owner of the franchise. Head coach Doc Rivers and star point guard Chris Paul suggested on separate occasions it’d be hard to picture coaching/playing for the Clippers next season if Sterling still owned the team.
Those concerns have now officially been eradicated.
Sterling was expected to put up a fight in court and he’s built a reputation of suing anyone and anyone to get his way over the years. But now that the team has officially been sold, new legal action shouldn’t have any bearing on Ballmer’s ownership of the team for the 2014-15 season:
Talking to attorneys now and they don’t see any way sale can reversed on Sterling appeals, writs or new lawsuits. It’s a legally done deal. — Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) August 12, 2014
It’s highly unlikely Sterling goes quietly into the night and accepts his consolation prize of $2 billion, but even if he continues to sue, the team officially belongs to Ballmer.
This is a major victory not only for NBA fans, but for Adam Silver as well. The manner in which he handled the Sterling controversy and punishment was impressive, but without action, words are meaningless. Silver did everything in his power to make this unprecedented situation right and if he didn’t have the support of his players before, he certainly will now.
Sterling outmaneuvered by the league, Shelly, and Ballmer again. Sale closed before he could even file his writ to stop it.
— Nate Duncan (@NateDuncanNBA) August 12, 2014