Ballmer, the former Microsoft CEO, agreed to pay $2 billion from the Sterling family trust in late May but disgraced former owner Donald Sterling filed a lawsuit preventing his wife, Shelly, from selling the team. Donald Sterling was suspended by the NBA for life and fined $2.5 million dollars for making derogatory remarks about blacks.
On July 28, a probate court judge sided with Shelly Sterling, to wrest control of the team from her husband and sell it to Ballmer.
“I am humbled and honored to be the new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers,” Ballmer said in a statement. “Clipper fans are so amazing. They have remained fiercely loyal to our franchise through some extraordinary times. I will be hard core in giving the team, our great coach, staff and players the support they need to do their best work on the court. And we will do whatever necessary to provide our fans and their families with the best game-night experience in the NBA.”
The NBA’s board of governors previously approved the sale of the team to Ballmer, who will meet with fans during a festival at Staples Center on Aug. 18
Donald Sterling is expected to still appeal the sale of the team according to ESPN’s Romona Shelbourne.
The Los Angeles Times , in the meanwhile, reported that the NBA has filed a counterclaim in federal court against Donald Sterling and the Sterling family trust, saying he caused "devastating and incalculable harm" to the league
The counterclaim was filed in response to an antitrust lawsuit Donald Sterling filed against the NBA and commissioner Adam Silver in June. According to the Times, the league is seeking to recover damages from Donald Sterling's controversial remarks.
So, it finally appears that Sterling’s tumultuous 33-year tenure as owner of the team is finally over and Clippers president of basketball operations and coach Doc Rivers couldn’t be happier.
“This is an amazing new day in Clippers history,” Rivers said in a statement. “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.”