Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer Buying Clippers for $2 Billion

Former Microsoft chief executive officer Steve Ballmer has won the bidding war for ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers, and is set to purchase the team for an NBA-record price of $2 billion, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Among other bidders were investors Tony Ressler and Steve Karsh, who together offered $1.2 billion, and a group led by David Geffen, which bid a reported $1.6 billion.

The $2 billion sale of the team is nearly four times that of  the previous record sale price of an NBA team — the $550 million that was paid earlier this month for the Milwaukee Bucks. It is also the second-highest ever sale price of any sports franchise in North America, just shy of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 2012 sale for $2.1 billion.

The deal, which was organized by Clippers co-owner Shelly Sterling, will, however, require current majority owner Donald Sterling’s signature to become official. Sterling has publicly gone back and forth on whether or not he wanted to allow his estranged wife to sell the team, with it being reported as early as Wednesday that he was planning to fight to keep the team he has controlled for over three decades.

The news also comes just five days before the NBA is scheduled to hold a hearing to force a sale of the team.

Ballmer, who’s tenure as CEO of Microsoft lasted for 14 years between 2000-2014 and is worth an estimated $20 billion, lost out on his recent bid to buy the Sacramento Kings when the NBA owners rejected the deal because of his group’s intentions to move the team to Seattle, where he lives. Ballmer recently said in an interview that he has no plans to move the Los Angeles Clippers away from the second-largest media market in the country, however.

If the deal pans out as expected, and Steve Ballmer does indeed take ownership of the Clippers, it will definitely symbolize a positive resolution to the unfavorable headlines that have dominated much of the 2014 NBA postseason, and begin a new era for the Los Angeles Clippers organization.


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