Blazer Banter

UPDATE: Report: Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer To Buy Los Angeles Clippers For $2 Billion

 

AP File

AP File

The Los Angeles Times were the first to report that Steve Ballmer–the former Microsoft CEO who attempted to buy the Sacramento Kings to move them to Seattle along with Chris Hansen–had won a bidding war for the Los Angeles Clippers. Ballmer’s bid is reportedly $2 billion.

James Rainey of the LA Times writes:

Ballmer bid higher than competitors that included Los Angeles-based investors Tony Ressler and Bruce Karsh and a group that included David Geffen and executives from the Guggenheim Group, the Chicago-based owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Geffen group offered $1.6 billion and the Ressler-Karsh group $1.2 billion. People familiar with both those offers said they were rejected.

However, Rainey also reports that the deal has yet to be finalized and still needs Donald Sterling’s signature and approval to say.

Rainey continues:

Bobby Samini, an attorney for Donald Sterling, said as he left the team owner’s home: “There’s been no sale. There can be no sale without Donald’s signature.”

The lawyer doesn’t think it’s very likely that a sale is likely according to LA Times reporter Andrea Chang.

 

 

 

UPDATE 4:30 PM 5/29/14: TMZ reports that the that the talks are still “ongoing.”

Sources familiar with the negotiations tell us … Shelly Sterling is in a meeting now — at the time of this post — negotiating with Ballmer and several other prospective buyers who have made offers.

We’re told Shelly is currently reviewing documents, but no agreement has been struck with anyone.

Our sources say, however, a deal will be finalized by end of business Friday … and Ballmer is definitely in the running.

ESPN.com’s Ramona Shelburne also reports that the talks with the Sterlings are still ongoing via twitter:

 

UPDATE 4:03 PM 5/29/14: The LA Times reported via their twitter account that the Los Angeles Clippers will be bought by former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for a record $2 Billion.

Forbes valued the Clippers just behind the Trail Blazers at $575 million earlier this year.

Of course, the Sterlings could make this a huge mess in the courts and it could take a lot longer for the sale to actually go through.

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Will basketball fans in Seattle have a team again?

Probably not but that’s a question that will be on everybody’s minds if former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer acquires the Los Angeles Clippers.

Forbes reported earlier on Thursday that Ballmer placed a bid of $1.8 billion for the Clippers.

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has offered $1.8 billion for the Los Angeles Clippers, according to a person familiar with Ballmer’s interest in the NBA team. Ballmer, who retired as Microsoft’s CEO four months ago has a net worth of $20 billion. Another source, with intimate knowledge of the bids that Rochelle Sterling has thus far received for the basketball team, said offers have come in between $1 billion and $2 billion and that the Ballmer package is strong.

Ballmer, if you recall, was part of the ownership group headed up by Chris Hansen that tried to buy the Sacramento Kings and move them to Seattle last season.

Ballmer has gone on the record that if he were to pursue the Clippers that he would likely not move them to Seattle.

Via the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Ballmer also shot down the notion of purchasing the Clippers with the intention of moving them to the Pacific Northwest. “If I get interested in the Clippers, it would be for Los Angeles,” he said. “I don’t work anymore, so I have more geographic flexibility than I did a year, year-and-a half ago. Moving them anywhere else would be value destructive.”

So, I guess if you were hopeful for the renewal of an I-5 rivalry there is your answer. It’s unlikely that even if Ballmer does acquire the Clippers that he would move them from Los Angeles, probably the most attractive and lucrative market in the NBA.

Of course, the ownership group that bought the Sonics back in 2006 also said they would keep the Sonics in Seattle before eventually moving to Oklahoma City, so you never really know with these guys.

From where I’m sitting, the odds are very slim that the Clippers end up in Seattle but they at least have an owner sympathetic to their situation in Ballmer.

We can only hope for an introduction press conference as intense as this if Ballmer has the winning bid:

 

Erik Gundersen

Erik Gundersen is the Trail Blazers beat reporter for The Columbian. He's a graduate of the Allen School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon in addition earning a degree in Spanish. He started writing about NBA Basketball for SwishScout.com before being the Sports Reporter Intern for TrailBlazers.com. He also fist-bumped with Kanye West once. Follow @BlazerBanter on twitter for more Blazers and NBA news.

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