NBA

NBA: Steve Ballmer officially replaces Sterling as Los Angeles Clippers owner

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Donald Sterling's tenure as the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers has finally come to an end with the NBA announcing Tuesday that Steve Ballmer has officially taken the helm of the California franchise.

NBA announcement

The announcement comes after a long and protracted legal battle which has spanned the summer months, with Sterling taking to the courts to challenge the sale of the franchise by the NBA to the former Microsoft CEO.

The official statement released on behalf of Adam Silver and the NBA reads as follows:

"The transaction in which Steve Ballmer purchased the Los Angeles Clippers closed today following the entry of an order by a California court confirming the authority of Shelly Sterling, on behalf of the Sterling Family Trust, to sell the team.

"The NBA Board of Governors previously approved the sale and Ballmer is now the Clippers Governor."

Ballmer buyout

Steve Ballmer originally registered his interest in becoming the new LA Clippers owner way back in May, and quickly made a staggering $2 billion bid to Donald Sterling's wife Shelly in a bid to attain the franchise.

This was accepted by Mrs Sterling as well as those in the NBA hierarchy but it was far from a simple takeover procedure.

Donald Sterling was unwilling to accept that his wife had the right to sell the franchise on his behalf and so began a prolonged legal battle between the two sides.

Various court appearances, personal threats, and medical recommendations have since followed but finally the disgraced Sterling is no longer associated in any way with the Clippers organization - a fact I am sure the majority, if not all, of those with an interest in the NBA are glad to acknowledge.

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Sterling situation

A Clippers sale first became an issue following Sterling's disgraceful racist comments caught on audio back in April in which he told a female associate not to bring black people to his basketball arena.

Since then the 81-year-old has been handed a lifetime ban by the NBA, with Commissioner Adam Silver always backing the removal of Sterling as owner of the Cali team as he addressed the issue head on.

The Clippers roster also took a firm anti-Sterling stance in the wake of his comments and had in recent weeks made it clear that they would have to consider their positions with the franchise should the Ballmer sale not occur before the new season.

And while today's news is a positive for the league as they rid themselves of a troublesome character the one sour note for many will be that Donald Sterling walks way from the situation a far richer man than he was in the run up to the controversial incident.

Topics:
LA Clippers
NBA

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