Judge Michael Levanas has found in favour of Shelley Sterling and Steve Ballmer. His judgement gives the green-light to the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers and ends months of legal wrangling. The sale constitutes the most expensive take-over in NBA history, the team being bought for a cool US $2 billion.
Previous owner, Donald Sterling, bought the club in 1981 for a mere $12.5 million. However, Sterling was forced reconsider his ownership earlier this year when the NBA imposed a life ban on the owner. The ban came in consequence to a video showing Sterling reprimanding his girlfriend for having her picture taken with small group of Negro people. The racial slur went viral and forced the NBA to act.
Once banned sterling put the team up for sale.
But the 80 year-old billionaire withdrew his support when Ballmer emerged as a clear favourite for the take-over. His reasons for doing so are somewhat obscure.
Sterling’s wife, Shelly, moved to have her husband declared mentally incapable allowing her custodianship of the team. The court found in favour of Shelley Sterling, declared Donald mentally incapable, and awarded her trusteeship of the Clippers.
Shelley then moved to sell the club to Ballmer.
Donald then applied to the courts to prevent her.
As stated above, Judge Michael Levanas found in favour of Shelley/Ballmer after a three-week trial.
New owner Steve Ballmer is overjoyed. He is a staunch, passionate fan of the game and the team. He told reporters he is living his dream by now being the owner of the LA Clippers. Ballmer has signalled his intention to support the coach, players, and staff any way he can, to help the Clippers to soon win the Championship.