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Volume 21 No. 1
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Legal scenarios have yet to play out in sale of L.A. Clippers to Ballmer

The proposed sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer still faces legal hurdles before the deal can close.

Donald Sterling is challenging his wife Shelly Sterling’s contention that experts have found him to be mentally unfit to run the family trust that controls the team, a claim that cleared the way for the record-setting $2 billion deal.


SBJ Podcast:
NBA writer John Lombardo and editor Tom Stinson discuss what the Clippers' sale price means for overall franchise values, why it is an outlier and what its impact could be.

A court hearing set to begin July 7 in Los Angeles will go a long way to determining whether the sale of the Clippers will close in a timely fashion.

Should the court side with Shelly Sterling, NBA owners would be next to act, with the need to approve the sale to Ballmer. A vote on that action could come at the owners’ July 15 meeting in Las Vegas.

But should Donald Sterling prevail in court, the next step for the NBA could be to restart the process of terminating his ownership in the franchise — a path that was being discussed prior to the Ballmer deal being announced. That process would require a hearing with Sterling and a three-quarters vote by the other owners to terminate Sterling’s ownership.

The league is pushing to resolve the issue by September, prior to the start of the 2014-15 regular season.