NBA Clippers Sale Finalized

It's official. Former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer is the new owner of the U.S. professional basketball team, the Los Angeles Clippers.

The team's $2 billion sale comes less than four months after the National Basketball Association banned previous owner Donald Sterling for racist remarks. Sterling had tried to fight the sale to Ballmer, but it went through after a California court found Sterling's estranged wife, Shelly, had the authority to sell the team.

The NBA's Board of Governors also approved the sale.

The league banned Donald Sterling for life after an audio recording emerged in which he told his then-girlfriend not to bring African American friends to Clippers games. The NBA also fined him $2.5 million.

The 80-year-old Sterling, who bought the Clippers for $12 million in 1981, had been the longest-tenured owner of any of the NBA's 30 teams.

Reacting to his newfound ownership, Ballmer, who retired from Microsoft in February, said he will be "hardcore" in giving the team, coach, staff and players the support they need. He thanked Clippers fans for remaining "fiercely loyal" to the franchise through what he described as "some extraordinary times."

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

VOA News / Aug. 13, 2014 08:08 KST