Donald Sterling Seemingly Concedes Clippers Sale After Appeals Court Denies Petition
Former Clippers Owner Donald Sterling has "apparently given up his attempt" to stop the $2B sale of the team to Steve Ballmer after an appeals court yesterday "rejected his latest petition," according to Nathan Fenno of the L.A. TIMES. California's 2nd Court of Appeals "dismissed Sterling's petition less than 24 hours after it was filed." The appeals court also "declined to overturn last month's ruling" in L.A. Superior Court that Shelly Sterling "acted properly in agreeing to sell the Clippers to Ballmer." The court said that even if the sale had not closed Tuesday, "there wasn't a convincing case to intervene" (L.A. TIMES, 8/14). Ballmer attorney Adam Streisand in a statement said, "While we have no doubt Donald Sterling will appeal to the Supreme Court, we are beyond thrilled and gratified and supremely confident that this is now over and done and Steve Ballmer is the undisputed owner of the Los Angeles Clippers" (ESPNLA.com, 8/13). The Boston Globe's Bob Ryan said, “We know the devil they don't know will be better than the one they did know. (Ballmer) could still have a little devil in him. We don’t know this yet. Let's see how it goes” ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 8/13).
SHELL GAME: In California, Jeff Miller writes the "noisy euphoria and happy chaos that followed" Ballmer officially taking over the team helped "muffle the fact the name Sterling isn’t going anywhere." Shelly Sterling will "still be right there -- sitting courtside, hanging in the fancy in-arena lounges." As part of the sale to Ballmer, she was "bestowed with the titles of 'No. 1 Fan For Life' and 'Owner Emeritus.'" She is "being paraded as some sort of savior -- the person who ultimately forced Donald Sterling out -- when she should be quietly accepting Ballmer's money and, like her husband, going away" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 8/14). Columnist Kevin Blackistone said the sale may be complete "in the public perception," but it is "troubling" that Shelly Sterling is still part of the team. She was a "partner with her husband, who was involved in the lawsuits and who herself was accused of making racist statements." ESPNs J.A. Adande said, “It is the cost of doing business. In order to get rid of Donald Sterling, you need to have her help to facilitate that. She wanted something in exchange" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 8/13). ESPN’s Dan Le Batard said, "It's not fair, but it was negotiated. The NBA needed Donald Sterling ... away from this team. They needed guys not to boycott at the beginning of next season. They needed Doc Rivers to keep working there. This was negotiated to move this along.” But ESPN's Bomani Jones said Shelly was the "inspector woman who used to go door to door to check the races of the people who lived in Donald Sterling's properties to see if they were up to snuff to live there." Jones: "She’s going to have a visible role and people aren’t going to have a problem with it. Why? Because saying stuff behind closed doors and using some naughty words is a much bigger deal than things that actually matter" (“Highly Questionable,” ESPN, 8/13).