The NBA has approved former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s $US2 billion offer to buy the Los Angeles Clippers, ESPN reports.
The league has also reportedly canceled a June 3 hearing about terminating Donald Sterling’s ownership of the team. The deal still has to be approved by the NBA’s Board of Governors.
The NBA released this statement (obtained by The Hollywood Reporter):
The NBA, Shelly Sterling and the Sterling Family Trust today resolved their dispute over the ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers. Under the agreement, the Clippers will be sold to Steve Ballmer, pending approval by the NBA Board of Governors, and the NBA will withdraw its pending charge to terminate the Sterlings’ ownership of the team. Because of the binding agreement to sell the team, the NBA termination hearing that had been scheduled for June 3 in New York City has now been cancelled. Mrs. Sterling and the Trust also agreed not to sue the NBA and to indemnify the NBA against lawsuits from others, including from Donald Sterling.
Although Donald Sterling, whose racist comments got him banned from the NBA for life, announced earlier on Friday that he would file a $US1 billion lawsuit against the league, part of the sale agreement says that his estranged wife Shelly Sterling and the Sterling family trust have agreed not to sue.
Donald agreed last week to let Shelly sell the team.
The $US2 billion deal would be the second-highest ever for a North American professional sports franchise.
The deal is expected to be approved as long as Ballmer agrees to keep the team in Los Angeles, which he has stated publicly that he will do.
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