Ladies and gentlemen we have a winner.
According to the Los Angeles Times, former CEO of Microsoft in Steve Ballmer has submitted an offer of $2 billion for the Los Angeles Clippers.
Ballmer’s $2B bid beats the Geffen/Ellison group by $400M, the Ressler/Karsh group by $800M.
— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) May 29, 2014
Ballmer’s $2 billion offer topples the previous high for a NBA team sale made earlier this month when Herb Kohl sold the Milwaukee Bucks for $550 million. The $2 billion bid is also the second highest sale price for a sports team behind last years purchase of the Los Angeles Dodgers which clocked in at $2.1 billion.
This isn’t the first time Ballmer has attempted to purchase a NBA franchise. Last season, Ballmer paired up with Chris Hansen to bid on the Sacramento Kings in hopes to move the franchise to Seattle.
Ballmer’s push to move the Kings to Seattle has a few fans worried that he could attempt to do the same with the Clippers, but in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Ballmer reiterated that he wouldn’t push for a move to Seattle.
“If I get interested in the Clippers, it would be for Los Angeles. I don’t work anymore, so I have more geographic flexibility than I did a year, year-and-a half ago. Moving them anywhere else would be value destructive.”
Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles also recently tweeted that Ballmer informed Shelly Sterling that he would move the team if awarded the club.
The sale can’t be finalized until Donald Sterling signs off the sale, along with the approval of the league’s other 29 owners. It’s hard to know where Sterling currently stands on the matter as he flip flops on his decision to either sell the team expeditiously or fight the NBA through the court system.
As more information on the impending sale is revealed, we will update you all as soon as possible.