Sterling sells, Clippers fetch record $2B price
The Los Angeles Clipper have been sold for a record-breaking $2 billion to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Shelley Sterling, Donald Sterling’s wife, approved the league-demanded sale late Thursday night as sole trustee of the Sterling Family Trust after Donald Sterling was ruled mentally incapacitated by medical experts.
Shelly Sterling became the sole trustee of the Sterling family trust very recently, sources told Shelburne and ESPN’s Darren Rovell, when husband Donald Sterling, the Clippers’ controlling owner, was found by experts to be mentally incapacitated. The rules of the trust did not require a court hearing first to declare Donald Sterling, 80, incapacitated. That allowed Shelly Sterling to negotiate directly with Ballmer and the NBA to sell the team.
The finalization of the sale is now pending league approval and rests upon a 3/4ths confirming vote by the 29 other team owners. A passing vote is expected in the coming weeks, or sooner. Don’t be surprised, however, if the actual ownership transfer takes considerably longer, as many close to the situation still fear it could.
Though this sale is certainly being hailed as a windfall victory for the league; both monetarily and in further divesting itself of Sterling’s shadow, the ordeal is likely far from over. Prior to the mental health decision and sale, Sterling vowed publicly to fight the NBA “to the bloody end” over control of the Clippers, no matter how long it took. It seems dangerously optimistic to assume that mindset has changed in light of the sale.
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