Steve Ballmer reportedly to buy Clippers after $2 billion winning bid

Steve BallmerFormer longtime Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has won the purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers with a $2 billion bid, according to a report.

The news was first reported by the LA Times’ James Rainey.

CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell reported that at least three bids ranging from $1.2-$1.8 billion came in before Ballmer won the bidding with his $2 billion bid.

The lawyer for Donald Sterling’s wife said that they had been offered $2.5 billion for the team. Looks like that figure was high, but not by too much. $2 billion is a lot of cheddar for the franchise, but like I said before, the demand for such a desirable team filled with legitimate stars and located in such a desirable city was sure to drive bidding higher than expected.

The Times says Ballmer beat out groups led by David Geffen and also the Guggenheim Group, which is the same crew that recently purchased the Dodgers. The $2 billion figure is just below the $2.1 billion the Guggenheim Group paid for the Dodgers.

Donald Sterling’s lawyer says Sterling will ‘fight to the bloody end’ to keep Clippers

Donald SterlingLos Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has remained relatively quiet since the NBA banned him for life, and many have interpreted that to mean he is ready to sell his team and move on. Not so fast, says Sterling’s lawyer Max Blecher.

On Tuesday, Blecher told ESPN that Sterling’s group is prepared to “fight to the bloody end” to keep the team. He also said any reports about Donald agreeing to let his wife Shelly negotiate a sale of the Clippers are untrue.

“I don’t know what agreement she has with him, but I’m saying to you today, he disavows anything she’s doing to sell the team,” Blecher said. “He says, ‘It’s my team, and I’ll sell it when and if I get around to it.'”

Blecher said that Sterling was in a “state of shock” at first but is now feeling much more “feisty.” We all know the 80-year-old loves fighting legal battles, so it would be stunning if he simply stepped aside and sold the team like the NBA is hoping he will do.

“I believe what they’ve done is illegal and it will not hold up in court,” Blecher added. “I believe what they’re doing is a blatant invasion of his constitutional rights because they’re using a tape recording that he did not consent to, and under California law, that recording cannot be used for any purpose, for any proceeding.

“So if the basis of their case is illegal evidence, they don’t have much of a case. … The whole thing is a pile of garbage.”

Despite Blecher’s insistence that Sterling has changed his stance, Shelly is still reportedly moving quickly to sell the team. A group reportedly made an offer of $2.5 billion to buy the Clippers on Tuesday. Shelly Sterling has retained Bank of America to help her with the sale and has supposedly received at least six offers.

Donald Sterling reportedly offered more than $2.5 billion for Clippers

ClippersJust how valuable of a franchise are the Los Angeles Clippers? Enough to command offers for more than $2.5 billion, apparently.

NBC Los Angeles reporter Robert Kovacik said on Tuesday that Donald Sterling has been offered in excess of $2.5 billion for the Clippers.

As we said late last week, the NBA is essentially forcing the Sterlings to sell the team. Donald reportedly has agreed to let wife Shelly organize the sale, so she is now entertaining offers for the franchise.

Though the $2.5 billion figure sounds astounding — and this could just be the lawyer bs’ing everyone to drive up the price — don’t be shocked if the price tag ends up that high. The Dodgers sold for $2 billion two years ago. Though the Clippers don’t have anywhere near the history of the Dodgers, they’re a big-market team in a celebrity-filled city and have shown a long history of being profitable. Plus, the team is loaded with talent and has had a ton of recent success. You add all that up and factor in all the demand for the franchise — everyone from Floyd Mayweather to Oprah to Frankie Muniz expressed interest in owning the team — and you know the price is going to skyrocket.

I wouldn’t be surprised if they sold for well over $2.5 billion.

Report: Donald Sterling agrees to let wife Shelly negotiate forced sale of Clippers

Donald-Sterling-wifeDonald Sterling is planning to sell the Los Angeles Clippers. On Friday morning, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reported that Sterling has agreed to allow his wife Shelly to negotiate a forced sale of the team.

The NBA has not yet accepted the terms of the proposal between Donald and Shelly, and she will have to state her case in the coming days. If the proposed deal means having the Sterlings take their money and be gone from the league, I can’t imagine there would be much opposition from the NBA.

As Shelburne put it, the entire Sterling saga could come to an abrupt end if Donald transfers full ownership to Shelly and she agrees to sell the Clippers in their entirety.

Earlier this week, the NBA submitted its formal written case against Donald Sterling. One of the more interesting sections of the 30-page report stated that league investigator David Anders has reason to believe Shelly and Donald are “not in any sense estranged” and have spent time together since the racist audio recording was released. That seemed to set the stage for the NBA making a case that Donald turning the team over to Shelly is not a viable option.

However, the league would likely accept the proposal if it is a matter of Shelly agreeing to negotiate a complete sale. Adam Silver wants the Sterling family out of the picture completely. This would be one way of accomplishing that goal.

Clippers covered up ads of sponsors who dropped out


The Los Angeles Clippers have lost quite a few sponsors this week in the wake of Donald Sterling’s racist remarks. It is unclear which companies will re-partner with the team now that Sterling has been banned from the NBA for life, but the hastiness with which some sponsors distanced themselves from the Clippers made for an interesting scene at the Staples Center Tuesday night.

Several black banners were hung around the arena to cover up advertisements from sponsors who have put their relationship with the Clippers on hold. Some of the bigger companies that have backed out include CarMax, Virgin America, Sprint, Kia and State Farm, so you can understand why there was so much black surrounding the court.

If the companies that suspended their relationship with the Clippers are as happy with Adam Silver’s decision as most former and current NBA players were, we expect them to be back sponsoring the team before long.

Photo: Twitter/Diamond Leung

Frankie Muniz wants to buy the Clippers

Frankie-MunizYou know how we know there will be no shortage of interest in the Los Angeles Clippers if Donald Sterling is forced to sell the team? Because Malcolm from “Malcolm in the Middle” is on a long list of people who have already expressed a desire to buy the Clippers.

On Tuesday, 28-year-old actor Frankie Muniz wrote on Twitter that he is going to buy the Clippers. He later elaborated in a lengthy Facebook post.

“I became a L.A. Clippers fan in 1994,” Muniz wrote. “How does a kid born in New Jersey, raised in North Carolina become a Clippers fan you may ask? Well, thank NBA Live ’95 on Super Nintendo for that. To be honest, they were the only team that I didn’t know who any of the players on the team were, so I didn’t mind deleting them and making myself, my mom, dad and my cats (Polly and Pete) the new starting lineup for the team on the game. From that day forward in 1994, I have been a die-hard Clippers fan.”

Muniz became a season ticket holder when “Malcolm in the Middle” was picked up and he moved from New Jersey to LA. He says he went to every Clippers home game from 2000-2008 and stuck with them even though they were LA’s other team. Like most others, he was “disgusted” by Sterling’s racist rant.

“I hope the fans come out and continue to support this team,” he wrote. “Help this team continue to win. Show that everyone, all races, genders, can come together and BEAT his racist remarks. I believe the longer the team can win, the more this will remain a conversation in which we can continue to learn from and teach to ALL generations that actions like his will not be acceptable.”

Could fantasy become reality? Muniz is believed to have a net worth of about $40 million. As Kevin Kaduk of Ball Don’t Lie reminded us, he famously told a Twitter heckler in 2010 that he had a $40 million retirement account at age 19. Muniz could probably afford to own a very small portion of the Clippers, but he’d be competing with NBA legends and boxing world champions. Don’t count on it.

Donald Sterling: Clippers are not for sale

Donald-SterlingJust before Adam Silver announced that Donald Sterling has been banned from the NBA for life and fined $2.5 million, the Los Angeles Clippers owner reportedly told Jim Gray of Fox News that the team is not for sale. Technically, that is true.

“I just spoke with Donald Sterling on the telephone just moments ago. He is unaware of what is going to happen to him,” Gray said. “He has not been notified. He also said that he really didn’t want to comment on the record. However, the team is not for sale. And he will not be selling the team.”

Gray added that Sterling didn’t wish to say anything else on the record, so he was honoring his request. While the Clippers are not currently for sale, that could change in the coming months. Based on the message Silver sent, prospective buyers — ahem, Magic Johnson — should start preparing their bids.

Silver has clearly spoken with enough NBA owners to be confident that he will be able to get the 75% vote necessary to force Sterling out of the league. That said, Sterling has plenty of money, loves fighting legal battles and is not going to go down without a fight.

Video via The Big Lead