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article imageFormer Microsoft CEO Ballmer completes purchase of LA Clippers

By Nathan Salant     Aug 14, 2014 in Sports
Los Angeles - Former Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer has completed buying the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team, seemingly ending a painful real-life drama that began with racist remarks on a tape recording.
The $2 billion purchase closed Tuesday, after a California appellate court confirmed its decision that the wife of longtime Clippers co-owner Donald Sterling could sell the team over his objections, according to the Reuters news service.
The sale had already been approved by National Basketball Association governors, which required Sterling to sell the team after his remarks caused national outrage when they were made public by a celebrity news site in April.
Sterling's wife, Shelly, arranged the deal with Ballmer in May after going to court to have Donald Sterling removed on medical grounds as co-owner of the family trust that actually owns the team.
Donald Sterling has promised to appeal.
But it was his remarks to a girlfriend about black people that prompted the controversy.
The comments, in which he asks the girlfriend to stop associating publicly with blacks, caused Clippers coach and president Doc Rivers and many players to threaten to quit and reportedly caused several sponsors to end their associations with the team.
The Clippers have never won a championship in the 44-year history of the team but won 57 games last year and reached the Western Conference semifinals.
“I am humbled and honored to be the new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers,” Mr. Ballmer said in a statement released Sunday.
"I will be hard core in giving the team, our great coach, staff and players the support they need to do their best work on the court," he said.
Ballmer also announced that the Clippers would host a fan festival Monday at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.
“This is an amazing new day in Clippers history,” Rivers said.
“I couldn’t be more excited to work together with Steve as we continue to build a first-class, championship organization," he said.
Ballmer is the 31st wealthiest person in the United States with a net worth of 21,3 billion, Reuters said.
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