In case you’ve been away, yesterday, Clippers owner Shelly Sterling found a buyer for the franchise in former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for a price of $2 billion, the highest ever for a NBA team and second highest for a sports franchise.
Following the announcement of the sale, the NBA has released a statement saying that accept the sale to Ballmer and won’t terminate the Sterling’s ownership.
The NBA, Shelly Sterling and the Sterling Family Trust today resolved their dispute over the ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers. Under the agreement, the Clippers will be sold to Steve Ballmer, pending approval by the NBA Board of Governors, and the NBA will withdraw its pending charge to terminate the Sterlings’ ownership of the team.
Because of the binding agreement to sell the team, the NBA termination hearing that had been scheduled for June 3 in New York City has now been cancelled. Mrs. Sterling and the Trust also agreed not to sue the NBA and to indemnify the NBA against lawsuits from others, including from Donald Sterling.
This signals the end of an era. Donald Sterling had been the league’s longest tenured owner, first purchasing the franchise for $12 million in 1981 thanks to a recommendation from Jerry Buss of Los Angeles Lakers royalty. Success was far and few, forcing them to play second fiddle to the Los Angeles Lakers. But the Clippers lucked finally changed when Blake Griffin was drafted first overall in the 2009 NBA Draft. Soon came Chris Paul and then Doc Rivers a few years later, allowing the organization to field the first true title contention in the franchises LA history.
The Steve Ballmer era is here ladies and gentlemen.