LOS ANGELES --The sale of the Los Angeles Clippers was finalized Tuesday, making former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer the new owner of the NBA team.
Attorney Adam Streisand confirmed Ballmer bought the franchise for $2 billion. The transaction closed after a California court authorized Shelly Sterling to sell the team on behalf of the Sterling Family Trust.
"Judge (Michael) Levanas signed his court order authorizing the sale even if Donald Sterling filed an appeal and we were ready. Within minutes, the deal was signed, sealed and delivered," said Streisand.
Donald Sterling, who had owned the team since 1981, was under pressure to sell the franchise after racist comments he made to his companion V. Stiviano during a recorded conversation were made public in April. Following the comments, he was banned for life from the NBA.
He has since been fighting to stop the sale of the team. During a probate court trial last month, Levanas ruled that Donald Sterling's estranged wife, Shelly Sterling, had acted properly in removing him as a trustee of the Sterling Family Trust that owned the team.
Streisand said the sale is final, regardless of whether or not Donald Sterling could get a different result from the appeals court.
"I'm confident the appellate court will agree Judge Levanas made the correct decision, and it's all academic now because we already have a new owner of the Clippers," said Streisand.
Ballmer said in a statement that he is "humbled and honored" to be the new team owner.
"Clipper fans are so amazing. They have remained fiercely loyal to our franchise through some extraordinary times. 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. And we will do whatever necessary to provide our fans and their families with the best game-night experience in the NBA," said Ballmer.
Clippers Head Coach Doc Rivers said he's excited to work with Ballmer.
"This is an amazing new day in Clippers history," Rivers said. "I am already inspired by Steve's passion for the game, his love of competition and desire to win the right way and I know our players and fans are going to be inspired as well."
Ballmer said he looks forward to meeting fans at the STAPLES Center Fan Festival, which will be held on Aug. 18 at 12:30 p.m. Rivers and Clippers players will also be attending the fan event.