UPDATE: Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has signed a binding agreement with the Sterling family to purchase the Los Angeles Clippers for an NBA record $2 billion, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN LA. The agreement is now in the hands of the NBA and pending the approval of the 29 other owners. The owners need to give a 3/4s majority vote to approve the sale.
Ousted Clippers Donald Sterling must also still give his blessing for the sale to be finalized. If not, the NBA will proceed with a vote on June 3 to force him to sell on their terms.
If the sale is completed and approve by 29 NBA owners, it would be the highest price ever paid for an NBA team. The price nearly quadruples the next-highest splurge for an NBA team -- $550 million for the Milwaukee Bucks paid earlier this May. The Los Angeles Dodgers were sold for $2.1 billion, making the Clippers sale the just the second-highest ever for an American professional sports franchise, but barely.
According to the Times, Ballmer outbid bids of $1.6 billion and $1.2 billion from groups headed by David Geffen and Los Angeles-area investors, respectively.
Shelly Sterling, the wife of Donald Sterling, rushed to accept bids before a June 3 meeting of NBA owners, who would have likely voted to give control of the Clippers franchise to the league.