New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Clippers officially have a new owner in former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
Ballmer's $2 billion bid to purchase the team closed Tuesday after a California court confirmed Shelly Sterling's authority to sell the team on behalf of the Sterling Family Trust, the NBA announced.
The NBA Board of Governors previously approved the sale and Ballmer is now the Clippers Governor.
"I am humbled and honored to be the new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers," Ballmer said in a statement. "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."
The sale was prompted after former owner Donald Sterling was banned for life from the NBA by commissioner Adam Silver in late April and fined $2.5 million for his racially offensive comments. The NBA had charged Donald Sterling with damaging the league by making racist remarks.
"This is an amazing new day in Clippers history," Clippers president of basketball operations and head coach Doc Rivers said in a statement. "I couldn't be more excited to work together with Steve as we continue to build a first-class, championship organization. I am already inspired by Steve's passion for the game, his love of competition and desire to win the right way and I know our players and fans are going to be inspired as well."
Ballmer takes over after weeks of legal battling between Shelly and Donald Sterling. Ballmer has recently stated that owning the Clippers isn't about benefiting from the team in monetary value, but that he is to "live out the dream" in trying to win a championship along with repairing the image of the organization.
Donald Sterling still is reportedly expected to appeal the sale.