The NBA announced on Tuesday that the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has been finalized. The $2 billion transaction had previously been approved by the NBA Board of Governors, and Tuesday’s closing officially makes Ballmer the team’s new governor.
The finalization of the sale was made possible by a California court confirming that Shelly Sterling had the power to sell the Clippers on behalf of the Sterling Family Trust. Sterling was previously deemed mentally incapacitated by two doctors and was removed as co-trustee. The 80-year-old fought the ruling in court but was unsuccessful.
While it would not be surprising if Sterling continued to explore avenues to sue the NBA, it sounds like he does not have much legal ground to stand on.
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
The Clippers are planning to hold a fan festival at the Staples Center on Monday to introduce Ballmer as the team’s new owner. Doc Rivers and the Clippers players will be in attendance.
“This is an amazing new day in Clippers history,” Rivers said Tuesday. “I couldn’t be more excited to work together with Steve as we continue to build a first-class, championship organization. I am already inspired by Steve’s passion for the game, his love of competition and desire to win the right way and I know our players and fans are going to be inspired as well.”
Ballmer said in a statement that he will be “hardcore” in trying to put the Clippers in a position to win.
“I am humbled and honored to be the new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers,” he said. “Clipper fans are so amazing. I will be hardcore in giving the team, our great coach, staff and players the support they need to do their best work on the court. We will do whatever necessary to provide our fans and their families with the best game-night experience in the NBA.”
Adam Silver was confident the NBA would force Sterling out from the second his racist audio rant went viral. The new NBA commissioner made good on his promise.