• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

L.A. Clippers Officially Sold To Steve Ballmer

The N.B.A. has announced that the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has been completed:

It’s official. Donald Sterling no longer owns the Los Angeles Clippers. The NBA sent out a news release this afternoon confirming the sale of the team to ex-Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer. It reads:

“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.”

The proposed $2 billion sale of the team closed just days after a California judge rejected Donald Sterling’s latest appeal, which according to Yahoo Sports, “contended that allowing the sale to take place would mean the loss of a ‘unique and irretrievable asset … one of 30 NBA franchises’ for Sterling.”

At this point, there may still be litigation by Sterling or the N.B.A., but none of it will impact the ownership of the franchise going forward,

 

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. I read somewhere that the litigation may be more tax related than because Sterling actually wants to contest ownership. According to the article in question, capitals gains receive favorable treatment if you can show that the sale of the asset was not voluntary.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  2. Ron Beasley says:

    He says he’s not but how long before Ballmer tries to move the team to Seattle?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  3. Keeping the team in L.A. is part of the terms of sale.

    Besides, the Clippers would be far more profitable in L.A. than they would ever be in Seattle

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. @Doug Mataconis:

    Keeping the team in L.A. is part of the terms of sale.

    And if the commitment is as open ended as you suggest, it doesn’t matter because that term of sale violates the Rule Against Perpetuities and wouldn’t be enforcable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. grumpy realist says:

    @Stormy Dragon: How in the heck does the Rule of Perpetuities come into play here? All of the parties are alive. Ballmer can make a promise to not move the team during his lifetime, but he can’t promise that the team will always infinitely remain in Los Angeles, because that would be a violation. I really doubt that the NBA’s lawyers were stupid enough to insist on including a clause that would violate RAP.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. grumpy realist says:

    Oh, and just for fun, the NBA is taking advantage of that indemnification clause and is now countersuing Donald Sterling and the Sterling Trust to pay up for all the legal stuff they’ve had to pay for so far...

    (Giggle)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  7. @grumpy realist:

    If moving the team undoes the sale, that’s a future conditional vestment of ownership. If it’s enforcable, it can’t be open ended (neither you, nor any future owners can move the team). So Balmer may be prevented from moving the team right now, but there will at some point be a way around that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. Ron Beasley says:

    When the guy from Oklahoma City bought the old Seattle Supersonics leaving the team in Seattle was part of the terms of sale but he moved them to OKC a year later. And I’m not convinced that leaving the team in LA would be that much more profitable NBA games always sell out here in the Pacific NW and get plenty of TV. The guy who bought the Supersonics is losing money and can hardly ever fill the venue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Maybe.

    I don’t see it.

    Like I said, the Clippers are worth a lot more money in L.A. than in Seattle, especially with the new media deal they’re about to negotiate

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. al-Ameda says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Like I said, the Clippers are worth a lot more money in L.A. than in Seattle, especially with the new media deal they’re about to negotiate

    You’re exactly right; a well-run franchise in Los Angeles is worth more than the same in Seattle.

    The only wildcard here is if the Clippers can maintain their current success while the Lakers are in a (thought to be) temporary downturn. The Lakers are a flagship NBA franchise and if they return to glory, then the Clippers are probably maxing out right now.

    Ballmer has so much money that he could afford to overpay by about $1 Billion in that auction. It may be a while before he has equity.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. grumpy realist says:

    Now of course the question is what Donald Sterling will do….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. Deserttrek says:

    i gave up on the nba long ago because of their open support for black racism and embracing a culture of violence and crime … with the smearing of Sterling just another reason to never give them my time or money

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  13. al-Ameda says:

    @Deserttrek:

    i gave up on the nba long ago because of their open support for black racism and embracing a culture of violence and crime … with the smearing of Sterling just another reason to never give them my time or money

    L O L !

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  14. Just 'nutha' ig'rant cracker says:

    @Deserttrek: @al-Ameda: Poe’s Law???

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0