On Tuesday, the NBA announced that the sale of the team to the former Microsoft CEO has closed.
“I am humbled and honored to be the new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers,” Ballmer said in a statement released by the team. “Clipper fans are so amazing. They have remained fiercely loyal to our franchise through some extraordinary times.”
The closing of the deal marks the end of a series of ups and downs involving the Clippers and the team’s former owner, Donald Sterling, who purchased the clippers for in 1981 for $12.5 million. Sterling maintained control of the team until audio recordings of him making racist comments surfaced. In April, the NBA banned Sterling for life.
According to Associated Press, Ballmer bid $2 billion to purchase the Clippers in May. Sterling’s wife Shelly, on behalf of the Sterling Family Trust, brokered the deal. Despite Donald Sterling’s efforts to block the sale of the Clippers to Ballmer after Shelly removed him as an administrator of the family trust that owned the team, a judge ruled against him in July. The ruling upheld Sterling’s removal as a co-trustee, which occurred after doctors found he had signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
News of the completed sale of the Clippers was followed by a tweet from the team’s official Twitter account, which expressed excitement regarding the chance to move on from the Sterling era with Ballmer as the new person in charge.