Shelly Sterling has officially announced that she is selling the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.
“I am delighted that we are selling the team to Steve, who will be a terrific owner,” Sterling said in a statement released late Thursday night. “We have worked for 33 years to build the Clippers into a premiere NBA franchise. I am confident that Steve will take the team to new levels of success.”
According to the release, Sterling was “acting under her authority as the sole trustee of the Sterling Family Trust which owns the Clippers.”
ESPN cited sources saying her controversial husband, Donald Sterling, was found by experts to be incapacitated, so his approval was not required to make the most expensive deal ever for a North American professional sports franchise.
Previously, Mr. Sterling’s lawyers sent a letter to the NBA authorizing “Rochelle Sterling to negotiate with the National Basketball Association regarding all issues in connection with a sale of the Los Angeles Clippers team, owned by LAC Basketball Club, Inc.”
Ballmer still needs to be submitted to the NBA Board of Governors in order to be approved as the L.A. basketball team’s next owner, but is already looking forward to his first championship season.
“I love basketball. And I intend to do everything in my power to ensure that the Clippers continue to win – and win big – in Los Angeles,” Ballmer said in a statement. “L.A. is one of the world’s great cities — a city that embraces inclusiveness, in exactly the same way that the NBA and I embrace inclusiveness. I am confident that the Clippers will in the coming years become an even bigger part of the community.”