The NBA confirmed on Friday that the Los Angeles Clippers have been sold to former Microsoft MSFT 1.49% CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion, the largest ever for an NBA franchise.
Ballmer, a basketball fan, offered the most money in a war that included other big names and media moguls like Oracle ORCL -0.43% CEO Larry Ellison and Oprah Winfrey. The final price easily surpassed the previous record for an NBA team of $550 million.
The sale must still be approved by the NBA’s board of governors.
But Donald Sterling, who was ordered by the NBA to sell the team after making racist comments, is not giving up easily. Sterling sued the NBA for $1 billion in damages late Friday in a federal court in California, claiming that he was being punished for illegally obtained recordings, according to the Wall Street Journal. In the suit he demanded to be reinstated as the team’s owner and have a $2.5 million fine by the basketball league dropped. Rick Buchanan, the NBA’s general counsel, told the Wall Street Journal that “Mr. Sterling’s lawsuit is predictable, but entirely baseless.”
Donald Sterling’s wife, Shelly Sterling, led the sale after saying her husband had been deemed “mentally incapacitated.” The NBA released a statement on Friday evening in which Shelly Sterling said she won’t sue the NBA. Furthermore, NBA said it had been indemnified against any lawsuits by her husband.
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