Los Angeles Judge tentatively clears way for $2 billion sale of Los Angeles Clippers from Sterling family to Microsoft's Steve Ballmer. John Russell reports.
Reaction from all sides flowed after a judge tentatively ruled on Monday (July 28) that the record $2 billion dollar (USD) sale of pro basketball's Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft Corp chief executive Steve Ballmer can proceed over the objections of co-owner Donald Sterling. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge said the deal, brokered by Sterling's estranged wife, Shelly Sterling, was permissible and could be consummated even if Sterling, who has been banned for life from the NBA for racist remarks, chose to appeal. SOUNDBITE SHELLY STERLING SAYING (English): "I want to thank everyone that has helped me, my attorney, they were fabulous. This is going to be a good thing for everyone, for the league, for my family, for all of us. I just want to thank you all. Come see the Clippers next year." Sterling, who was banned after his remarks to a female friend were taped and published, had vowed to block the sale he initially blessed. Sterling's attorney Max Blecher plans to seek an appeal. SOUNDBITE Donald Sterling's attorney Max Blecher saying (English): "We're comfortable that if we get a right to appeal this. If the court of appeals sees these mistakes, that is what I call them, will give us the right to appeal and this decision will not stand up." The judge said his tentative ruling would take formal effect when he issues it in writing in coming weeks.