Following a legal review confirming the authority of Shelly Sterling to sell the Los Angeles Clippers on behalf of the Sterling Family Trust, Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer completed his purchase of the Western Conference team.
Ballmer's $2 billion deal to acquire the Clippers was under review in a California court after being approved by the NBA Board of Governors. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas ruled in favor of the sale, issuing his written ruling today. (opens in new tab)
Ballmer replaces former owner Donald Sterling, who was banned for life by the NBA in conjunction with a series of racist remarks he made in a recorded conversation.
Sterling, who purchased the Clippers in 1981 for $12 million, has filed a series of lawsuits in conjunction with his loss of the team. Sterling's petition to overturn Judge Michael Levanas's ruling was rejected by an appellate court.
Ballmer's $2 billion sale also marks the highest amount ever paid for an NBA franchise. According to Forbes, the team currently brings in an average of $20 million from its local television contract with Fox Prime Ticket, which is scheduled to expire after the 2015-16 season. In contrast, the Los Angeles Lakers make an average of $180 million from their rights deal with TWC.
The Clippers expect to make a considerably larger amount in rights fees when the team inks its next deal with Fox Prime Ticket or another network in the local market.
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