The new owner isn’t Bill Gates, it is Steve Ballmer, Microsoft co- founder and former CEO. Ballmer has reportedly agreed to pay the unheard of sum of $2 billion for the NBA franchise. Ballmer worked out a deal with bankers on behalf of now ex- owner Donald Sterling and his wife Shelly Sterling, who is happy that Ballmer agreed to a deal.
“I am delighted that we are selling the team to Steve, who will be a terrific owner”, said Mrs. Sterling.”We have worked 33 years to build the Clippers into a premiere NBA franchise. I am confident that Steve will take the team to new levels of success.”
The sale will not be final until the NBA board of governors agrees to the deal, but there is little doubt that they will agree to the offer. The NBA is anxious to rid the league of Donald Sterling and the hefty price tag of $2 billion sends a message to the markets that NBA franchises- even ones with less impressive win/loss records during their history in the league- are more valuable than one might think.
Steve Ballmer, a huge basketball fan who has attempted to purchase NBA franchises in the past, is anxious to take on his new post- Microsoft role:
“I will be honored to have my name submitted to the NBA Board of Governors for approval as the next owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. I love basketball,” said Ballmer. “And I intend to do everything in my power to ensure that the Clippers continue to win – and win big – in Los Angeles. L.A. is one of the world’s great cities – a city that embraces inclusiveness, in exactly the same way that the NBA and I embrace inclusiveness. I am confident that the Clippers will in the coming years become an even bigger part of the community. I thank Shelly Sterling for her willingness to entrust the Clippers franchise to me, and I am grateful to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and his colleagues for working collaboratively with me throughout this process.”
Expect for the sale to finalize and ownership to officially change hands in the coming weeks.