Shelly Sterling has signed the deal to sell the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Apparently, the negotiations were a long and arduous process, but the final figure for the sale settled at around $2 billion. Yes, that’s billion with a B.
Although there were rumors stating that Sterling and Ballmer had already signed a deal earlier Thursday but by midnight TMZ’s sources claim the seal was completed.
One major question on both fans’ and investors’ minds is whether Ballmer will move the Clippers to Seattle, his current hometown. Ballmer has a lot of roots set up in Seattle, so it’s hard to envision him making constant trips to Los Angeles. However Ballmer agreed that he wouldn’t move the team out of Los Angeles, although we really don’t know whether this was written in the contracts. Highly unlikey….
It’s hard to imagine that Sterling would agree to the contract if Ballmer wanted to move the team to Seattle, considering the Clippers have become such a big part of Los Angeles’ identity. However, Sterling is getting $2 billion dollars for this sale, so I imagine there’s not a lot she wouldn’t agree to – especially since she’s getting a lot of leeway thanks to the controversy surrounding her estranged husband, Donald Sterling.
Now, the initial reports stated that Shelly would still require Donald’s signature on the deal, but the courts ruled Shelly the sole trustee to the Sterling Family Trust and granted her permission to sell the team as per her wishes. Right now, the deal would only need the NBA’s approval before going forward.