Life for both former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and sports fans is about to get a whole lot more interesting.
Ballmer, who is legendary in the tech world for his over-the-top public appearances, has reportedly purchased the LA Clippers for the lofty sum of $2 billion from Shelly Sterling. Mrs. Sterling is the wife of Donald Sterling, the disgraced Clippers owner who has been swirling in controversy ever since audio tapes of the 80 year old attorney making racist comments surfaced. The tapes were recorded by V. Stiviano, Sterling’s former girlfriend.
Mrs. Sterling issued the following statement, confirming the sale of the Clippers to Ballmer.
“I am delighted that we are selling the team to Steve, who will be a terrific owner. 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.”
To this point, conflicting reports painted a murky picture regarding Donald Sterling’s intentions pertaining to his ownership of the Clippers. Earlier this week, reports indicated that Sterling gave his estranged wife approval to sell the team. However, another report indicated that he rescinded the permission he granted to his wife to sell the Clippers.
The situation reportedly turned when medical experts found that the 80-year-old Sterling was “mentally incapacitated,” granting Shelly Sterling status as the single trustee of the Clippers. This also gave her the right to sell the franchise. This opened the door for Steve Ballmer pounce and become a sports team owner.
“I love basketball,” Ballmer said in a statement. “And I intend to do everything in my power to ensure that the Clippers continue to win — and win big — in Los Angeles. 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.”
The sale has to be approved by the NBA and other NBA team owners, but we fully expect Ballmer’s purchase to go through. However, it’ll be interesting to see whether Donald Sterling mounts a legal challenge to the sale.
For a taste of Ballmer’s brand of..eccentricity, check out the clip of him below, courtesy of YouTube.
Bottom line: the guy definitely belongs in sports.