LOS ANGELES – Shelly Sterling reached an agreement Thursday night to sell the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion in what would be a record deal if approved by the NBA, according to an individual with knowledge of the negotiations.
The individual, who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly, said Ballmer and the Sterling Family Trust now have a binding agreement. The deal now must be presented to the NBA.
Shelly Sterling negotiated the sale after her husband, Donald Sterling, made racist remarks that were made public. The remarks included Sterling telling girlfriend V. Stiviano not to bring blacks to Clippers games, specifically mentioning Hall of Famer Magic Johnson. Donald Sterling must also approve the final agreement as a 50 percent owner.
Ballmer beat out bids by Guggenheim Partners and a group including former NBA All-Star Grant Hill after presenting an “all-around superior bid,” the individual said. Ballmer made more than an hourlong personal visit to Shelly Sterling’s Malibu home Sunday and laid out his plan.