Done Deal: Former Microsoft CEO Buys LA Clippers for $2 Billion
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has purchased the Los Angeles Clippers for a record price of $2-billion, according to James Raney of the LA Times.
— James Rainey (@LATimesrainey) May 29, 2014
The former record price for an NBA franchise was set just a few weeks ago when the Milwaukee Bucks were sold for $550-million. Ballmer, 58, left Microsoft last February and has a net worth of $20 billion. His offer beat out the likes of Geffen Guggenheim, who bid $1.6 billion, and Ressler-Karsh’s $1.2 billion offer.
There is now a signed, binding agreement between Ballmer and the Sterling family trust to sell the Clippers for $2billion, ESPN has learned — Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) May 30, 2014
The deal comes off Donald Sterling’s banishment from the NBA after an audio recording surfaced with him discriminating against African Americans. Sterling also condemned his ‘girlfriend’ V. Stiviano for taking a picture with former Lakers star and current Dodgers owner Magic Johnson, who spent $2.1 billion for his team.
Congrats to my friend Steve Ballmer on buying the Clippers for a reported $2B!
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) May 30, 2014
Sterling allowed his estranged wife to put the team, that he bought nearly 33 years ago for $12.5 million, up for sale last week.
The Clippers home court, the Staples Center, is owned by the Lakers, so the only real estate in the deal is the team’s practice facility in Playa Vista that Sterling spent a nearly $52.5 million on.
In 2013, Ballmer was a part of the group, led by Hedge Fund Manager Chris Hansen, that attempted to purchase the Sacramento Kings and relocate them to Seattle, Ballmers’ hometown.
NBA owners rejected that offer.
Despite being a part of the Kings-to-Seattle lobbyist group, a move to send the Clippers up north does not seem to be in the cards, in part because Los Angeles is a more profitable location than Seattle and the NBA simply will not allow it.
The deal needs to be approved by at least three-fourths of the 29 other NBA owners, but is expected to pass with flying colors as long as Ballmer reiterates that he will keep the team in Los Angeles and not move the franchise to his home in Seattle.
The Los Angeles Clippers, led by head coach Doc Rivers, were bounced out in the Western Conference semifinals this year at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Forward Blake Griffin and guard Chris Paul headline the talent on their current roster.