Judge Michael Levanas ruled against former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling on Monday, allowing the sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to go through.
Sterling brought a lawsuit against the family trust overseen by his wife Shelly in an attempt to block the sale of the team for $2 billion. Levanas made his ruling after hearing closing arguments from Shelly and Donald Sterling's lawyers earlier Monday.
The judge also included a 1310(b) order, which makes the ruling "essentially appeal-proof," according to Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times.
The NBA released a short statement on the court's ruling: "We are pleased that the court has affirmed Shelly Sterling’s right to sell the Los Angeles Clippers to Steve Ballmer. We look forward to the transaction closing as soon as possible."
NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned Donald Sterling for life and fined him $2.5 million in April after a recording of Sterling making racist remarks to his girlfriend surfaced. TMZ originally released the audio recording, on which Sterling chastises his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, for bringing African-Americans to Clippers games and for posting pictures to Instagram with Lakers Hall of Famer Magic Johnson.
Judge rules for Shelly Sterling and prevents Donald from appealing to keep team. Steve Ballmer will be next Clippers owner. Big win for NBA.— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) July 28, 2014
Judge ruling for Shelly Sterling is also persuasive evidence she lawfully indemnified NBA on behalf of the trust. So Donald's suing himself.— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) July 28, 2014
Shelly Sterling will remain with Clippers as "Owner Emeritus" and she'll run a team charity. Donald? He can watch Clippers games from home.— Michael McCann (@McCannSportsLaw) July 28, 2014
- Alex Hampl