Ex-Microsoft CEO Ballmer To Buy LA Clippers for $2B

Owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. That will become the new title for former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, following news late Thursday that he is buying the team from The Sterling Family Trust for a record-breaking $2 billion.

The Trust is the ownership entity for Donald Sterling and his wife, Shelly Sterling. Donald Sterling has been at the center of controversy since his recorded racist remarks were made public. The National Basketball Association (NBA) has banned Donald Sterling from the game for life because of his comments, and has been taking steps to require him to sell the team.

In a statement Thursday, Shelly Sterling, who claims to be the sole trustee of the Trust, said that a binding contract for the sale to Ballmer has been signed. However, it must still be approved by the NBA.

'Will Be a Terrific Owner'

Shelly Sterling described Ballmer as someone who "will be a terrific owner," adding that she was "confident that Steve will take the team to new levels of success."

The ownership of the Trust is said to be split 50-50 between Donald and Shelly, but the Associated Press said it has a copy of a letter, dated May 22 and signed by Donald, that authorizes Shelly Sterling to negotiate with the NBA for all issues relating to a sale of the team. But one of Donald's attorneys has said that he is "not selling the team," and has changed his mind about the letter.

USA Today said that it was told by "a person familiar with the situation" that Donald has been ruled mentally unfit by experts, as defined by provisions of the Trust, and thus is not capable of making decisions connected to the family trust.

According to news reports, Ballmer was in a bidding competition with several others, including Guggenheim Partners and an...

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