CNN reports that former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has signed a binding agreement to buy the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion from the Sterling family trust.
The deal is reported to be worth $2 billion which bested a bid from a group that included David Geffen and Oprah Winfrey. The Geffen/Winfrey bid was reportedly worth $1.6 billion according to CNN's source.
If the NBA approves the deal it will be the highest price paid for an NBA team in history. Seventy-five percent of the NBA's 30 owners must approve the sale, which many expect to happen so long as Ballmer agrees not to move the team.
Meanwhile, USA Today reports that even if embattled owner Donald Sterling opposes the bid from Ballmer, he won't be able to stop it. He has been ruled "mentally unfit" to run the family trust:
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling does not have the authority to stop a $2 billion sale of his team because he has been determined to be mentally unfit to make decisions related to the family trust, a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports.
The Sterling Family Trust owns the team, with Donald and his wife Shelly each owning a 50% share. The trust spells out provisions and procedures related to the mental capacity of the trustees, and Donald Sterling did not meet the standard in a determination by experts, giving his wife sole decision-making power for the trust, the person said.
Sterling's wife, Shelly, released a statement praising Ballmer and the deal. "I am delighted that we are selling the team to Steve, who will be a terrific owner," Sterling said. "We have worked for 33 years to build the Clippers into a premiere NBA franchise. I am confident that Steve will take the team to new levels of success."