SEATTLE — Steve Ballmer, former Microsoft CEO, will buy the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team for $2 billion, according to the Los Angeles Times. But don’t get too excited, Sonics fans.
The Times reported Ballmer won the bidding war with a record-setting price for an NBA team. The price is nearly four times the highest NBA franchise sale price — the Milwaukee Bucks went for $550 million earlier this month.
The deal is the second-highest price ever paid for a North American sports team, according to the Times. The Los Angeles Dodgers went for $2.1 billion back in 2012.
Two other organizations reportedly bid $1.2 and $1.6 billion for the team, but ultimately lost to Ballmer.
The sale comes five days before an NBA hearing to remove current Clippers owners Donald and Shelly Sterling. This comes after a controversy in which Donald Sterling made racist remarks in a secret audio recording.
Move to Seattle?
The L.A. Times reports the tentative deal needs the blessing of Shelly’s husband Dondald Sterling. It will then need to be approved by the other 29 NBA team owners.
The deal is expected to clear that hurdle, the Times says, as long as Ballmer pledges to keep the team in Los Angeles — and not move it to Seattle where he lives.
Ballmer said in a recent interview he had no intention of moving the Clippers.
Last year, Ballmer joined a group led by Chris Hansen to bid on the Sacramento Kings, but NBA owners voted to reject the proposed move.
Stay with Q13 FOX News for the latest on this developing story.