Los Angeles Clippers co-owner Shelly Sterling has announced the franchise’s $2 billion sale to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
The record-setting transaction was signed by Ballmer and Sterling Thursday evening, but both parties remained mum until releasing statements late that night.
Shelly Sterling said in the release that she was acting as the sole trustee of the Sterling Family Trust, which owns the Clippers. ESPN reported that experts had recently declared co-owner Donald Sterling to be “mentally incapacitated,” transferring power over the team to Shelly under the rules of the trust.
“I am delighted that we are selling the team to Steve, who will be a terrific owner,” Shelly Sterling said. “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.” Continue reading
The deadline to bid on the Los Angeles Clippers passed at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
According to the Sports Business Journal, the bidding term sheet required a $300 million deposit.
Although Donald Sterling’s formal response to the NBA on Tuesday asked that he not be terminated as Clippers owner — followed by his attorney’s vow to ESPN to “fight to the bloody end” — his wife Shelly Sterling is proceeding with a sale.
Her attorney Pierce O’Donnell said in a statement Tuesday night that she is managing the sale of the team with written consent from her husband.
Multiple reports indicate that Donald Sterling had sent another letter to the NBA on May 22, saying that he had empowered Shelly to sell the franchise they have owned since 1981. However, the league has never approved Shelly Sterling as a controlling owner.
The NBA advisory-finance committee also met again on Wednesday via conference call to discuss Donald and Shelly Sterling’s responses to the charge to terminate their ownership of the Clippers.
“These documents, along with the charge, were distributed to the NBA Board of Governors, which will meet on June 3 at 1 p.m. in New York City to hear and vote upon this matter,” league spokesperson Mike Bass said in a statement.
A three-fourths majority vote by the board would terminate Sterling’s stake in the team.
Clippers owner Donald Sterling responded to the NBA on Tuesday with a 32-page letter, arguing the the league is attempting to terminate his membership on the basis of an illegal recording.
Donald Sterling's formal response to NBA charges
With several suitors now circling, just how much might the Los Angeles Clippers sell for?
According to NBC, potentially more than $2 billion — an amount that would set a new record in American sports.
The Dodgers sold for $2.15 billion in March 2012, though the Los Angeles baseball team has a far more storied history than the Clippers. That purchase nearly doubled the previous top price tag for a U.S. sports franchise: the Miami Dolphins selling for $1.1 billion in 2009.
ESPN’s Bill Simmons also reported on Monday that the “basement” offer for the Clippers will start at around $1.8 billion. Continue reading
Clippers owner Donald Sterling wants to cede control of the Los Angeles basketball franchise to his wife, Shelly Sterling, and allow her to orchestrate a sale.
The NBA, however, has yet to approve the transfer.
“We continue to follow the process set forth in the NBA Constitution regarding termination of the current ownership interests in the Los Angeles Clippers and are proceeding toward a hearing on this matter on June 3,” league spokesperson Mike Bass said.
Article 5 of the NBA Constitution states that no membership can be transferred “in whole or in part, directly or indirectly” without league approval.
The member in question — in this case, Donald Sterling — must submit a written request to the NBA commissioner, who then takes steps to vet the new prospective member. League owners must then approve the transfer with a three-fourths majority vote.
In various articles dating back to 1990, Clippers interim CEO Dick Parsons has been described as a former Hawaii letterman — alternatively a “basketball star” or “basketball jock.”
Deadspin revealed Thursday that the oft-reported biographical detail is false. As lengthy as Parsons’ resume is — former chair of Citigroup and Time Warner, experience on multiple U.S. presidential staffs — he never played on a college varsity team.
It may simply be that reporters over the years never fact-checked accurately, and the story was embellished.
“Dick played on the freshman team at the University of Hawaii in 1964-65,” Ed Adler, a spokesperson for Parsons, said in a statement. “He has never said that he played varsity, that he lettered, or that he was a good player.” Continue reading