Donald Sterling has been declared mentally unfit to run the Sterling Family Trust, the entity that officially owns the Clippers, and hence cannot block the sale of the team to Steve Ballmer, sources tell USA Today and ESPN. Shelly Sterling put out a press release last night saying that she was selling the team "under her authority as the sole trustee," authority that she apparently gained when unspecified "experts" declared her 80-year-old husband incapacitated. Under the trust's rules, doing so doesn't require a court hearing.
Sources said Shelly Sterling and Ballmer signed final papers authorizing the sale just before midnight. Sterling said she was "delighted" and that Ballmer would be a "terrific" owner, while Ballmer promised not to try to move the team—the ex-Microsoft CEO once put in a bid for the Sacramento Kings with the goal of moving them to Seattle. After initially giving his wife permission to sell the team, Donald Sterling had reportedly changed his mind. "There's been no sale," one of his lawyers said just yesterday. "There can be no sale without Donald's signature." A source tells ESPN Shelly and Ballmer went ahead with the deal even in the face of such a statement due to their confidence "the sale would go through."