Steve Ballmer offers $2 billion for the LA Clippers

Written by
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has made a bid to purchase the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team for $2 billion.

The Los Angeles Times reports that would be a record price for an NBA team. The next highest sale in the league was for the Milwaukee Bucks, which garnered $550 million.

In today’s announcement, Ballmer reportedly beat out LA investors Tony Ressler and Steve Karsh ($1.2 billion), and a group that included entertainment mogul David Geffen ($1.6 billion).

Sterling paid $12.5 million for the team in 1981.

The proposed Clippers sale still faces a number of hurdles.

Donald Sterling, who was banned for life from the NBA and fined $2.5 million over racially insensitive comments he made in a recorded conversation, has indicated in papers filed with the NBA that he plans to fight a league effort to force him out as owner.

The NBA’s Board of Governors is scheduled to meet Tuesday to vote on whether to expel Sterling as an owner.

And the NBA would also have to approve any sale of the Clippers.

An investment group led by Ballmer had just last year bid on the Sacramento Kings, with the intent to move the team to Seattle.

But Ballmer reportedly says he will not move the Clippers, saying Los Angeles is the only place the team makes financial sense.

KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis talks about the reported deal with Mike Pesca, host of Slate magazine’s daily podcast, The Gist.