Source: Ballmer agrees to buy Clippers for record $2 billion - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Source: Ballmer agrees to buy Clippers for record $2 billion

(CNN) - Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has signed a binding agreement to buy the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion from the Sterling family trust, a source familiar with the situation told CNN on Thursday night. The league would still have to approve the sale at a Board of Governors meeting. The price would be a record for an NBA team.


Donald Sterling has gotten over the initial shock he felt after anaudio recording of him making racist statements was released online and will fight the NBA if it forces him to sell the Los Angeles Clippers, his attorney told CNN on Thursday.

Maxwell Blecher told CNN that Sterling has emerged from his emotional state, hardened his resolve and is considering suing over the NBA's efforts to remove him as Clippers owner.

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But no decision has been made on whether to file a lawsuit, he said.

The NBA's 30 owners will meet Tuesday to vote on whether to strip Sterling and his estranged wife, Shelly, who owns 50% of the team, of ownership rights.

"The league on Tuesday has a guillotine over his head," Blecher told CNN's "The Situation Room."

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"They will confiscate his team illegally and if they don't want a lawsuit challenging that conduct, they need to let us know before Tuesday," the lawyer said.

Blecher said Sterling wants to meet with NBA officials and "work things out."

"He wants to be vindicated. He doesn't want his tombstone to say, 'Here lies Donald Sterling, racist.' And the NBA has the power to make that right," Blecher said.

The audio recording was illegally recorded, he said, and the snippets of bigoted remarks don't reflect Sterling's views.

"He's not a racist," Blecher said. "He's very troubled by the racist charges that have been made against him after 33 years of history (and evidence that show a) very close relationship and close support of the African-American community."

He will not agree to a sale of the team without a resolution with the NBA, though Blecher wouldn't specify what Sterling wants from the league.

CNN reached out to the NBA for comment but didn't hear back immediately.

Blecher told CNN that he doesn't think the team can be sold without Donald Sterling's consent.

"Mr. Sterling is not going to consent unless the NBA does something about the illegal charges they have filed against him, and so far we've heard nothing to indicate that will occur," he said.

Several potential buyers have submitted bids to Shelly Sterling for the team, according to a source familiar with the situation.

The bids are between $1 billion and approaching $2 billion, the source said, adding all expected offers have been submitted.

One group is led by former NBA star Grant Hill, while another is fronted by former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. The source told CNN that Hill's group proposed $1.2 billion and classified Ballmer's as "a strong bid."

The goal is to get an agreement in principle done before Tuesday's NBA meeting, the source said.

Donald Sterling has been the controlling owner of the Clippers since buying the team in 1981 for $12 million.

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