Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has signed an agreement to buy the Los Angeles Clippers from the Sterling Family Trust for a record $2 billion, according to a source that spoke with CNN on Thursday night.
The NBA would still need to approve the sale at a Board of Governors meeting. Sterling has vowed to fight the sale, Sterling’s attorney told CNN Thursday. Sterling has “emerged from his emotional state” and hardened his resolve, according to Maxwell Blecher, and is considering suing the NBA if the league forces him to sell the team.
On Monday, the NBA “initiated a charge” seeking to terminate all ownership rights of the Los Angeles Clippers franchise. Sterling will be allowed to make a presentation at a June 3 Board of Governors meeting.
In order for the NBA to terminate the Sterlings’ franchise rights, 75 percent of the 30 team owners would have to vote to sustain the charge and force a sale of the Clippers.
Blecher told CNN’s Situation Room that the embattled owner wants to meet with league officials and work things out. “[Sterling] wants to be vindicated. He doesn’t want his tombstone to say, ‘Here lies Donald Sterling, racist.’ And the NBA has the power to make that right.”
Several buyers have submitted bids to Shelly Sterling for the team, according to other CNN sources. The bids have been between $1 billion and approaching $2 billion. Steve Ballmer’s bid, if approved, would be a record for an NBA team.
Donald Sterling has been the owner of the Clippers since he bought the team in 1981 for $12 million.
Image via Wikimedia Commons