Donald Sterling agrees to sell LA Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
Donald Sterling has agreed to the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Sterling’s attorneys told CNN on Wednesday.
Last week, Sterling’s estranged wife, Shelly, agreed to sell the franchise to Ballmer for an NBA record $2 billion. The Sterlings are co-owners of the team through a family trust.
Donald Sterling initially indicated he would fight the sale and filed a lawsuit against the National Basketball Association.
The suit has yet to be withdrawn, attorneys Bobby Samini and Maxwell Blecher, said, but that likely will happen this week.
“Donald Sterling officially announces today, the NBA and Donald Sterling and Shelly Sterling have agreed to sell the Los Angeles Clippers to Steve Ballmer for $2 billion and various additional benefits. All disputes and outstanding issues have been resolved,” Samini said in a written statement.
Blecher said he thought that Sterling worked out a resolution with the league or with Shelly Sterling.
The NBA was expected to issue a news release commenting on Wednesday’s developments.
NBA owners still have to approve the sale to Ballmer, who has indicated he would keep the team in Los Angeles. Ballmer, according to Forbes magazine, is worth $20.3 billion.
Ballmer has tried to buy a NBA team before. Last year, he and investor Chris Hansen were set to purchase the Sacramento Kings, but the NBA nixed the deal because the duo would have moved the franchise to Seattle.
Donald Sterling bought the team in 1981 for $12 million.
Sterling’s recorded racist remarks to his companion, V. Stiviano, spawned outrage among NBA fans, players and executives.
Chief among the latter was NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who banned Sterling from the league, fined him $2.5 million and pushed through a charge to terminate all of his ownership rights in the franchise. The recording was posted online by TMZ in late April.
In the recording, Sterling argues with Stiviano about how she posted a photo of herself with NBA legend Magic Johnson to Instagram.
“In your lousy f**ing Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with — walking with black people,” Sterling says.
“If it’s white people, it’s OK?” the woman responds. “If it was Larry Bird, would it make a difference?”
Bird was a Hall of Fame player who played with the Boston Celtics and was a storied rival of Johnson, who played for the Los Angeles Lakers.
He also tells her not to bring Johnson to Clippers games and not to post photos his friends could view.
“Admire him, bring him here, feed him, f**k him, but don’t put (Magic) on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me,” he said.
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