L.A. Clippers Officially Sold After Sterling Controversy
By Rosalyn Oshmyansky
After months of controversy, Donald Sterling is no longer the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. Today, Steve Ballmer, former CEO of Microsoft, closed on the $2 billion purchase of the team.
"I am humbled and honored to be the new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers," Ballmer said in a statement. "Clipper fans are so amazing. They have remained fiercely loyal to our franchise through some extraordinary times. I will be hard core in giving the team, our great coach, staff and players the support they need to do their best work on the court. And we will do whatever necessary to provide our fans and their families with the best game-night experience in the NBA."
The NBA moved to force Donald Sterling to sell the team after he was recorded in April telling ex-girlfriend V. Stiviano not to bring black people to a Clippers game.
The sale comes after much controversy over the team's ownership after Sterling had initially agreed to allow the sale in early June, but six days later, he changed his mind and is seeking $1 billion in damages.
Sterling's wife Shelly Sterling was able to sell filing on behalf of the Sterling Family Trust after a California court confirmed her authority to sell. She will still have a connection to the Clippers with her title of "owner emeritus".
In a statement, Shelly says, "I am thrilled that the Clippers now have such a wonderful new owner. I am happy for the team, the fans, the sponsors and the City of Los Angeles."
Shelly was not the only excited one about Ballmer taking over the team. NBA Veteran Jamal Crawford told USA Today about Ballmer, "At the root of everything he does and has done, he has always loved basketball…He's always somebody who's very excited and very motivated, and I'm sure he'll be like that (with the Clippers) times 10."
Watch ET's Exclusive with V. Stiviano before the scandal.