Ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to Buy LA Clippers For $2 Billion
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has agreed to buy the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion, making it the highest bid for buying an NBA team in the history, according to The Los Angeles Times.
With the team being bought at a whopping price tag of $2 billion, it shatters all previous records for acquiring an NBA team. This price is almost four times when compared to the measly $550 million paid for the Milwaukee Bucks earlier this month. Earlier this year, Forbes claimed that the LA Clippers financial worth was around $575 million.
Ballmer, who had been the CEO at Microsoft for fourteen years, outbid two other parties which were also interested in buying the team. One party was led by media tycoon David Geffen who was prepared to offer $1.6 billion, whereas the other party was led by Tony Ressler and Steve Karsh who were willing to only pay $1.2 billion.
The Basketball team was put up for sale by the National Basketball Association after a controversial video of the previous owner Donald Sterling was leaked to the media in which he made offensive racist remarks.
Apart from putting up the team on sale, the National Basketball Association also banned him over his verbally abusive comments. It’s only last week that the 80-year-old agreed to let his wife, Shelly Sterling, execute the sale of his former team.
Interestingly, the news of the $2 Billion deal came out on the same day as the results from an E-Poll which had a sample size of 1,100 Americans aged between 13 and 49 who voted Sterling as the most hated American with a majority of 92% votes.
In a statement released by Shelly Sterling via her lawyers, she has stated, “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.”
Mr. Ballmer, whose financial assets are valued at $20 Billion, has remarked that he would be “honored” to have his name submitted to the NBA Board of Governors for approval.
The ex-Microsoft chief revealed that he had no plans whatsoever on moving the team as logically speaking, the team is highly valued in Los Angeles, which also happens to be the second largest media consuming city in the country.
For now, there there are many legal obstacle for the deal to jump through in order to set in stone.
The deal has to be approved by both Shelly and her racist husband who has been indecisive over whether he’s going to agree to the sale or fight the NBA till the gruesome end and of course, the NBA which has to approve all transfers of ownership.