Breaking News: Steve Ballmer To Buy Clippers For $2 Billion


According to the LA Times, ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has outbid several other groups and has agreed to buy the Los Angeles Clippers for a NBA record $2 Billion.

Ballmer, who was the CEO of Microsoft for more than a decade, outbid the Guggenheim-Geffen Partnership, which reportedly bid $1.6B, and Los Angeles investors Tony Ressler and Steve Karsh, who bid $1.2B according to the Times.

A sale of $2 Billion for the Clippers would represent the second largest franchise purchase in American sports history, only behind the $2.15B the Guggenheim Baseball Partners paid for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012. It would also represent the largest sale in NBA history, almost quadrupling the previous record of $550M for the Milwaukee Bucks just last month.

Ballmer attempted to purchase the Sacramento Kings last year and move them to Seattle, in order to restore the Seattle SuperSonics franchise. However, the NBA elected to keep the team in Sacramento and sell to an owner who would keep the team in Cowbell country. Many will speculate that Ballmer would attempt to move the Clippers to Seattle now; however, the NBA would likely block Ballmer from moving the team. Moreover, Shelly Sterling, who is apparently negotiating this deal, vowed not to sell the team to anyone who would move it. Therefore, we should assume that this deal has a clause restricting the team to move.

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To be honest, why would you move a team out of Los Angeles? The whole reason for paying $2B for the Clippers is because of the Los Angeles market. That’s just bad business.

While this preliminary deal is enormous, it is not even close to being a done deal yet. Donald Sterling, who still owns the Clippers mind you, has not signed off on this deal and he would need to before any sort of deal is reached. Shelly Sterling, Donald’s wife (?), has been meeting and negotiating with perspective buyers in place of her husband.

The NBA has schedule a meeting for June 3rd to decide the fate of Sterling and to attempt to strip his ownership of the team. However, if Sterling agrees to this deal, which seems unlikely based on what his attorney, Max Blecher, has been saying over the past couple of days, there would be no need for the vote to oust Sterling. Instead, if the deal is approved by Sterling, the NBA Board of Governors could vote on Ballmer as the new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers and approve the purchase of the team.

Ballmer is expected to be approved by the NBA Board of Governors, provided that he reaffirms that he will keep the Clippers in Los Angeles, according to the Times.

So, will Donald Sterling finally give up his fight and relinquish ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers with a $2B payday staring him in the face?