Steve Ballmer finally has an NBA outlet for his rah-rah displays of emotion as the new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers. The former Microsoft CEO's record $2 billion purchase of the team was confirmed by a Los Angeles judge yesterday, clearing the way for the avid pickup basketball player to take over the team from Donald Sterling, who unsuccessfully fought his estranged wife, Shelly, over the sale. Ballmer's lawyer says the judge signed the order authorizing the sale even if Donald Sterling's attorneys filed an appeal, which they did late yesterday.
Ballmer, who lives in the Seattle area, says he hopes to attend a lot of Clippers games next season, and interim CEO Dick Parsons has agreed to stay on for the time being. "That gives me a chance to figure this all out," he says. The sale has ousted Donald Sterling as the NBA's longest-tenured owner, and Ballmer says he wants to put the Sterling controversy in the past and focus the team on being "a great citizen in the community for a diverse set of folks." Shelly Sterling, who defeated Donald's efforts to block the sale, lamented losing the team, but Ballmer gave her the title of "owner emeritus." She will receive two floor seats, 10 other seats, and parking at Staples Center for games.