Last week, Clippers owner Donald Sterling had given his wife, Shelly Sterling, the authority to sell the jointly owned team. The Los Angeles Clippers are owned 50-50 between the couple. There had been furious bidding between the Guggenheim Partners, a group that included Oprah Winfrey and David Geffen, before finally being won by Microsoft Corporation ex-CEO Steve Ballmer, who acquires the Los Angeles Clippers after reaching a binding deal with Sterling’s wife for a whopping $2 billion. If the agreement does go through, it will be the largest deal of its kind in NBA history.
It is thought that Shelly Sterling had pushed to procure a new owner by next Tuesday, when it is expected that the league proprietors will vote whether or not to abolish Donald Sterling’s ownership of the Clippers. Things had come to a head in April of this year, when a recording that was taken in September of 2013, was leaked to TMZ by V. Stiviano, Donald Sterling’s then girlfriend. In the illegal recording, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers had made racist comments in relation to African-Americans in what he thought was a private conversation.
That action caused the NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, to fine Donald Sterling $2.5 million and ban him for life from future NBA games. In response to the fine and ban, Sterling wrote a 32-page letter to the NBA, arguing that his words were said in a confidential conversation which was recorded illegally under California State laws. He also went on to say that he had not broken any rules within the NBA. Both Shelly and Donald Sterling claim to have worked hard at making the Clippers a premiere franchise within the NBA over the last 33 years. Shelly has said that she believes that the ex-CEO of Microsoft Corporation, Steve Ballmer, who acquires the Clippers hopefully, next week for an historic $2 billion, will be a great owner of the Clippers and lead them into future successes.
The agreement has not yet been presented to the NBA, although a signed contract has been sent to them for the go ahead. Owners of NBA teams still have to approve the sale, but Donald Sterling does not have to throw in the towel on the agreement, as he has been found mentally incapacitated. His lawyers are saying that Sterling is not going to allow the sale of his team, yet by giving his wife Shelly written permission for such an event, has granted her the opportunity to not only try to find prospective buyers, but to go ahead and accept a deal that acquires the Clippers for Microsoft Corporation ex-CEO, Steve Ballmer, for a record $2 billion.
Last year, Ballmer was in a group that bid to buy the Sacramento Kings, and wanted to move them to Seattle. This time around, Microsoft Corporation ex-CEO Steve Ballmer has stated that he would not be inclined to move the Los Angeles Clippers, because he did not want to hurt the value of the team, considering the $2 billion price tag he paid in which to acquire them. However, provisions in the proposed sale include keeping the team in its home town of Los Angeles, as well as making sure any new owner would be someone whom Shelly Sterling would be able to work with in case she decided to keep a small stake in the team.
By Korrey Laderoute