Los Angeles, Aug 13 IANS | 4 months ago

The USD 2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has been finally completed, ending Donald Sterling's 33-year tenure as the team's owner.

The Nantional Basketball Association (NBA) confirmed Tuesday releasing a short statement that Ballmer "is now the Clippers Governor", reports Xinhua. Ballmer said he was "humbled and honored" to be the Clippers owner.

Attorneys for Donald had filed a petition with a state appeals court Friday asking for an emergency order blocking the sale. The court declined to take any action, since a ruling by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas allowing Shelly Sterling, his wife, to move ahead with the sale had not been finalized.

Sterling filed another petition with the appeals court Tuesday after news of the sale was announced, but no immediate action was taken.

The team is planning a Fan Festival at Staples Center next week. The USD 2 billion is the most ever paid for a North American professional sports team.

On July 28, following weeks of testimony in a non-jury trial, Levanas ruled that Shelly Sterling had acted properly in removing Donald Sterling as a trustee of the Sterling Family Trust that owned the team. The move came after two doctors examined Donald and determined him to be mentally incapacitated.

Donald Sterling purchased the Clippers in 1981 for USD 12.5 million. The release of a record of conversations between him and companion V. Stiviano, in which Sterling criticised Stiviano for having her picture taken with black people and tells her not to bring them to Clippers games, led to a lifetime ban on Sterling from the NBA.

(Posted on 13-08-2014)

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