the republic logo

Appeals court rejects Donald Sterling's effort to block sale of LA Clippers; deal is done

bug
Share/Save/Bookmark

LOS ANGELES — Donald Sterling's latest effort to block the $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was rejected Wednesday by a California appeals court.

The 2nd District Court of Appeal issued a brief order Wednesday saying it couldn't halt a sale that had been completed.

"The evidence before this court indicates the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to Steven Ballmer has closed," the court wrote. "Thus, there is nothing for this court to stay."

Even if the sale hadn't closed, the three judges said the former owner failed to show he was harmed enough to get a temporary stay.

Ballmer sealed the deal Tuesday after a probate judge cleared the way for Sterling's estranged wife to sell the team. The Los Angeles Superior Court judge said Shelly Sterling could complete the sale she negotiated after removing her husband of 58 years from the family trust that owned the team because of questions about his mental competence.

At the time she negotiated the record price for an NBA team the league was threatening to seize the team and auction it after banning Donald Sterling for life for making derogatory remarks about blacks.

PHOTO: FILE - In this July 28, 2014, file photo, with her attorney Pierce O'Donnell, right, Shelly Sterling, center, talks to reporters after a judge ruled in her favor and against her estranged husband, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, in his attempt to block the $2 billion sale of the NBA basketball team, outside Los Angeles Superior Court. Steve Ballmer is officially the new owner of the Clippers. The team says the sale closed Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014,  after a California court confirmed the authority of Shelly Sterling, on behalf of the Sterling Family Trust, to sell the franchise. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)
FILE - In this July 28, 2014, file photo, with her attorney Pierce O'Donnell, right, Shelly Sterling, center, talks to reporters after a judge ruled in her favor and against her estranged husband, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, in his attempt to block the $2 billion sale of the NBA basketball team, outside Los Angeles Superior Court. Steve Ballmer is officially the new owner of the Clippers. The team says the sale closed Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, after a California court confirmed the authority of Shelly Sterling, on behalf of the Sterling Family Trust, to sell the franchise. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)

Sterling's lawyers, who acknowledged in recent court filings that he isn't a sympathetic figure, derided the "popular" ruling against the unpopular owner. They said they were deeply disappointed with the appellate order.

"He has been deprived from ownership of the Clippers after 33 years without being accorded appellate review of this harsh result," attorneys Max Blecher and Bobby Samini said in a written statement.

Ballmer's lawyer, Adam Streisand, said they were "supremely confident" that even with further Sterling appeals, Ballmer is the "undisputed owner."

"Clipper nation rejoices," Streisand said. "He's got the ability to seek review by the California Supreme Court, where he has a one in 2 billion chance."

Shelly Sterling's lawyer said she was thrilled to have the court's blessing.

"It is time for Donald to accept that the game is over and he has run out of courts," attorney Pierce O'Donnell said in a statement.

Donald Sterling, 80, a billionaire lawyer who bought the team in 1981 for $12 million, still has lawsuits pending in state and federal court against the NBA. He has vowed to fight the league for the rest of his life.

His lawyers said he will be vindicated in the federal case.

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

All comments are moderated before posting. Your email address must be verified with Disqus in order for your comment to appear.
View our commenting guidelines and FAQ's here.

Story copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Feedback, Corrections and Other Requests: AP welcomes feedback and comments from readers. Send an email to info@ap.org and it will be forwarded to the appropriate editor or reporter.


Photo Gallery:
PHOTO: FILE - In this March 2, 2010,  file photo, Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer speaks in Santa Clara, Calif. Ballmer is officially the new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. The team says the sale closed Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014,  after a California court confirmed the authority of Shelly Sterling, on behalf of the Sterling Family Trust, to sell the franchise.  (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, file)
Click to view (3 Photos)

All content copyright ©2014 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.