Latest News, Updates on Los Angeles Clippers' Potential Sale

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 29, 2014

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Updates from Monday, July 28

A resolution has been decided upon in Donald Sterling's attempt to challenge his wife Shelly's ability to sell the Los Angeles Clippers according to Sports Illustrated's Michael McCann:

Arash Markazi of ESPN Los Angeles reports on when Shelly expects the sale to go through: 

Updates from Monday, July 21

ESPN LA's Ramona Shelburne reports on a meeting today between Donald Sterling and Steve Ballmer:

Updates from Friday, July 18

Linda Deutsch of the Associated Press provides more information on the sale of the Clippers, via ABC News:

At a hearing to set parameters for the rest of a probate trial, attorney Adam Streisand implored the judge to make a swift decision when hearings conclude July 28.

He said the final deadline for closing the deal with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was extended by a month, but "the deal ends on Aug. 15."

A month later, the NBA can seize the team and sell it at auction, Streisand said.

Updates from Tuesday, July 15

Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times provides an update on the sale of the LA Clippers:

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver could not guarantee the Clippers would have a new owner next season because of the possibility that the courts would not determine a clear owner of the team.

“No, I cannot say it with certainty,” Silver said Tuesday after the league’s board of governors met for four hours to discuss the Donald Sterling situation and other agenda items. “It’s in the hands of the probate court right now and he’s in the process of suing us for lots of money.

“And the only reason I can’t say it with certainty is it’s possible some court would step in and stop this thing. I think it is highly, highly unlikely because we are absolutely acting within our rights. I think what’s transpired in probate court so far has made it even clearer that we are acting not only within our rights but doing what is right and appropriate in this situation.”

Updates from Thursday, June 19

The Associated Press provided the latest in the legal situation surrounding the sale of the Clippers:

Updates from Wednesday, June 18

Shelly Sterling's next move will come Thursday, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:

Updates from Wednesday, June 11

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN has an update on the proceedings against Donald Sterling:

Updates from Tuesday, June 10

David Aldridge of reports on what will happen with the NBA's owner termination hearing against Donald Sterling if he were to win the $1 billion lawsuit:

Meanwhile, Shelly Sterling is reacting swiftly to the news that her husband Donald still plans on suing, per Tami Abdollah of the Associated Press, via Yahoo Sports:

Shelly Sterling's attorney will be in probate court Wednesday to seek an emergency order for a hearing so a judge can confirm her authority to sell the Los Angeles Clippers, according to an individual familiar with the matter.

Donald's lawyer Max Blecher briefly spoke with Ramona Shelburne of ESPN LA about the decision to proceed with the lawsuit and on his client's mental state:

Updates from Monday, June 9

Donald Sterling is not prepared to go down without a fight in the courtroom, according to ESPN LA's Ramona Shelburne:

Another one of Sterling's lawyers, Bobby Samini, released a statement on Sterling's behalf: 

Updates from Sunday, June 8

Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal has the latest development on Donald Sterling and a potential lawsuit against the NBA:

Embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is considering going ahead with his lawsuit against the NBA in the wake of comments made by commissioner Adam Silver on Sunday night, according to his attorney.


 But in an email to The Wall Street Journal late Sunday night, Blecher said that agreement was "based on an understanding which the NBA acknowledges was reasonable" that Sterling's lifetime ban and $2.5 million fine would be rescinded.

At a news conference before Game 2 of the Finals, Silver said, "There is absolutely no possibility that the lifetime ban will be rescinded or that the fine will be changed in any way." As a result, Blecher said Mr. Sterling is "ruminating" going ahead with the lawsuit and that "to my knowledge, no decision has yet been made."

Updates from Wednesday, June 4

Ramona Shelburne of ESPN LA has a major update on how Donald Sterling plans to move forward with the Clippers:

Updates from Friday, May 30

CNN's Rachel Nichols provides the latest on the sale of the Clippers:

Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press reports the June 3 meeting has been cancelled as a result of the sale:

Arash Markazi of ESPN passes along new owner Steve Ballmer's hopes for the Clippers:

Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today provides a link to the lawsuit filed by Sterling:

ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne has an update on Sterling's health:

Jeanie Buss welcomed Ballmer on behalf of the Buss family:

Updates from Thursday, May 29

After considerable buzz, ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne reports that the Sterling family has agreed to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer:

Shelburne reported more detail on the sale:

USA Today's Brent Schrotenboer confirmed the report.

James Rainey of the Los Angeles Times first reported Ballmer had won the bidding for the Los Angeles Clippers:

Rainey provides context for the bid amount:

The sale price is almost four times the highest previous NBA franchise sale price -- the $550 million paid earlier this month for the Milwaukee Bucks. It is second only to the Dodgers 2012 sale for $2.1 billion as the highest price for any sports team in North America.

Jared Dubin of Bloomberg News breaks down the numbers of the sale:

ESPN's Darren Rovell adds more detail on the financial aspect:

Dan Diamond of Forbes highlights an interview with The Wall Street Journal in which Ballmer details why he wouldn't elect to relocate the team to Seattle:

Orignal Text

The forced sale of the Los Angeles Clippers might end up going smoother than the NBA initially anticipated.

After NBA Commissioner Adam Silver gave team owner Donald Sterling a lifetime ban for racist comments he made, the owners were set to force a sale of the franchise. However, Michael McCann of Sports Illustrated reports that this might not be necessary:

According to sources, if Sterling presents the NBA with a completed agreement to sell the Clippers before Tuesday's meeting, and if the NBA has a "favorable impression" of both the dollar amount and the incoming owners, the league would postpone the hearing until it can formally vet the purchase, sale agreement and pending owners. If the NBA later approves the transaction, the Clippers would be sold and Sterling, along with his wife and co-owner, Shelly Sterling, would no longer have any affiliation with the NBA.

Sources tell that the NBA's top priority is for ownership to be transferred, and the league would welcome the exchange occurring voluntarily. A voluntary transfer would avert a potentially contentious hearing next Tuesday and, more importantly, avert the potential of Sterling filing a costly and lengthy lawsuit against the NBA and its owners.

CNBC's Sports Biz provides details on the current bids and an expected target date for the deal:

There have already been quite a few offers for the franchise, including from former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Mike Ozanian of Forbes reports that the retired billionaire has already made an offer of $1.8 billion for the Los Angeles organization.

Ballmer was part of an investment group that attempted to purchase the Sacramento Kings in 2013 and move them to Seattle. The NBA's Board of Governors thwarted that effort, however, voting 22-8 to reject the group's bid and keep the team in Sacramento.

While some might speculate that Ballmer's purchase of the Clippers would lead to moving the franchise, ESPN Los Angeles' Arash Markazi notes that this is extremely unlikely:

Still, Ballmer does have support in friend and current Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll:

ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne notes that he is the perceived leader to own the team:

He is not alone in his wish to purchase the Clippers, however. According to Brian Todd and Steve Almasy of CNN, "There are as many as five bidders to buy the Los Angeles Clippers, with offers up to $2 billion."

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 14:  Grant Hill walks off the court after the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge 2014 as part of the 2014 NBA Allstar Weekend at the Smoothie King Center on February 14, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expres
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Shelburne and Darren Rovell of noted the list of potential buyers includes some high-profile names, including one group with Oprah Winfrey and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. Another features former NBA star Grant Hill.

It is clear that lack of interest will not be an issue when attempting to complete the sale.

The only thing holding it back is Sterling. While his wife, Shelly Sterling, appears willing to sell her share of the team, Donald remains intent on fighting the issue. His attorney, Max Blecher, explained to Brent Schrotenboer of USA Today:

Judging in terms of the punishment already imposed, and the Commissioner's current request, Mr. Sterling's offense is far and away the worst offense that any player, coach or owner has ever committed in the history of the NBA. In the past, the NBA has either punished offensive speech with a modest fine or ignored it.

While Silver's punishment is significant, he appears to have enough support to force Sterling out of his current position and complete a sale of the team.

No matter what happens, Sterling's willingness to comply with the sale remains an important issue to follow throughout the process.

Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for the latest breaking news and analysis.

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