Donald Sterling can bitch, moan and “fight to the bloody end” all he wants, but the Clippers are coming off his hands one way or the other. Especially now that his predesscor is already in place, too.
Former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer is the last man standing in a bidding war that saw high profile names like Magic Johnson, David Geffen and Oprah Winfrey attached to the hottest price tag in sports. Ballmer’s bid of an eye-popping $2B (an NBA record) surpassed Geffen’s group ($1.6B) and Tony Ressler and Steve Karsh’s “lowball offer” ($1.2B), according to the LA Times.
Unlike other prospects, Ballmer bidded for the Clippers by himself as opposed to forming a group. Then again, when your net worth is estimated at $20B, ballin’ on the solo is probably the more preferred route anyway. He dropped two billion like it was buying a round of drinks.
Those familiar with these sorts of transactions may recognize his name with the Chris Hansen group who attempted to purchase the Kings with the hopes of moving them to Seattle last year. Ballmer’s purchase must still be approved by the other 29 owners, a perceived foregone conclusion pending he has no plans on moving the team to his hometown of Seattle.
Of course, too, the deal is still tenative on Brother Bigot himself, Sterling, deciding to fall back once and for all. And truthfully, if you’re in Sterling’s shoes, what’s there left to really fight for now? You’re even more of an outcast in a league and with its fans who have long since known you were the red-headed step child of the Association. Now someone wants to buy your team for $2B, four times the amount the Milwaukee Bucks went for only weeks ago.
An official vote in regards to Sterling’s future will be held June 3 in New York City with the NBA’s Board of Governors.