Los Angeles, California – Judge Michael Levanas has ruled in favor of Shelly Sterling, estranged wife of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, allowing her to proceed with her negotiated sale of the basketball franchise. She had removed her husband as trustee of the trust that owns the team, citing medical experts claims that Donald was not mentally capable of making business decisions. She then negotiated with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to purchase the team for $2 billion.
“This is going to be a good thing for the city, for the league for my family and for all of us,” she said outside the courthouse. “Come see the Clippers next year.”
As part of the ruling, Donald Sterling cannot delay the sale from moving forward during the appeals process.
It is widely expected that the deal will finally push through on August 15, two days after the release of the court’s final decision.
Shelly’s move removed Donald as a trustee, but not as an owner of the ball club. He should still receive his full share of the proceeds of the transaction once the deal is done.
NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement the league was pleased by the ruling and looked forward to the transaction closing as soon as possible.
Donald Sterling still has a lawsuit pending, suing the NBA, commissioner Adam Silver and his wife. Shelly, however, hopes to be able to talk to her husband and find ways that they can both move on from these events.