It’s official: Steve Ballmer owns the Los Angeles Clippers.
The transaction closed Tuesday after the entry of an order by a California court confirming the authority of Shelly Sterling (on behalf of the Sterling Family Trust) to sell the team, according to a release from the NBA. Sterling is the estranged wife of the team’s previous owner, Donald Sterling.
The NBA Board of Governors has previously approved the sale.
“I am humbled and honored to be the new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers,” Ballmer said in a release. “Clipper fans are so amazing. They have remained fiercely loyal to our franchise through some extraordinary times. I will be hard core in giving the team, our great coach, staff and players the support they need to do their best work on the court. And we will do whatever necessary to provide our fans and their families with the best game-night experience in the NBA.”
Ballmer, the former CEO of Microsoft, inherits a team that finished 57-25, won the Pacific Division for the second straight season and advanced to the Western Conference semifinals.
The Sterlings bought the Clippers 33 years ago for $12.5 million. The team, which was not competitive for much of the Sterlings’ ownership, has surged in recent years with stars like Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, making the playoffs the past three seasons after accomplishing that feat only four times in the previous 30 years.