LOS ANGELES — Donald Sterling’s latest effort to block the $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was shot down Wednesday by a California appeals court.
The 2nd Appellate District Court issued a brief ruling Wednesday saying it couldn’t halt a sale that had been completed.
“The evidence before this court indicates the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to Steven Ballmer has closed,” the court wrote. “Thus, there is nothing for this court to stay.”
Even if the sale hadn’t closed, the three judges said Sterling failed to show he was harmed enough to get a temporary stay.
Ballmer sealed the deal Tuesday after a probate court judge cleared the way for Sterling’s estranged wife to sell the team following a trial in Los Angeles Superior Court. The judge said Shelly Sterling could complete the sale she negotiated after removing her husband of 58 years from the family trust that owned the team because of questions about his mental competence.
At the time she negotiated the record price tag for an NBA team the league was threatening to seize the team and auction it after banning Donald Sterling for life for making derogatory remarks about blacks.
Ballmer’s lawyer, Adam Streisand, said they were “supremely confident” that even with further appeals by Sterling that Ballmer is the “undisputed owner.”
“Clipper nation rejoices,” Streisand said. “He’s got the ability to seek review by the California Supreme Court, where he has a one in 2 billion chance.”
Donald Sterling’s team of lawyers did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
Shelly Sterling’s lawyer said she was thrilled to have the court’s blessing.
“It is time for Donald to accept that the game is over and he has run out of courts,” said attorney Pierce O’Donnell.
Donald Sterling, 80, a billionaire lawyer who bought the team in 1981 for $12 million, still has lawsuits pending in state and federal court against the NBA and his wife. He has vowed to fight the league for the rest of his life.