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Clippers Sale To Steve Ballmer Is Official

On Tuesday afternoon the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer became official after a California court affirmed that Shelly Sterling, the estranged wife of embattled former owner Donald Sterling, has the legal authority to act on behalf of the family trust and sell the team.

The decision puts an end to a summer of legal maneuvering by Mr. Sterling, who has been fighting to stop the sale since it was announced in May. That’s not to say the NBA has heard the last of Donald Sterling—they haven’t. He may have lost this very significant battle, but with lawsuits still pending against his wife and the NBA, the war will likely continue.

All that aside, Ballmer is thrilled that the deal is done and admitted to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that the wait has been frustrating.

“My job has been to complete the deal and there were a lot of people, including me, working on it for a long time,” Ballmer said. “Was I kind of itchy? Sure. But I knew the only thing I could do or should do was complete the final deal, and we were able to do that this morning.”

Ballmer, who lives in Seattle, also told Shelburne that he loves the city of Los Angeles and looks forward to spending a lot more time there from this point forward. He is expected to travel to L.A. later this week to have dinner with the team and there’s a meet and greet for Clippers employees and fans planned for Monday.

Last month the NBA’s board of governors unanimously approved Ballmer as the team’s new owner, so he is able to hit the ground running with no further obstacles left to clear.

Which means the Donald Sterling story, as it relates to sports, is now officially over. He has the right to be an angry racist and the money to spend the rest of his life fighting the bad fight in court. And if that’s what he wants to do, fine. As long as he’s not doing it as the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, it really doesn’t matter.

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