Donald Sterling Meets With Steve Ballmer Over Pending Clippers Sale (Report)
With the $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers still in limbo, Donald Sterling met with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Monday, according to reports.
Although no settlement was reached, the pair had a "friendly conversation" in their first face-to-face meeting since Ballmer negotiated the record-setting sale with Shelly Sterling on May 29, according to ESPN sources.
The original deadline for the sale was July 15, with a possible extension until Aug. 15. The NBA has the option of resuming termination proceedings and subsequently selling the team itself if the sale is still in limbo by Sept. 15, according to ESPN.
The meeting came after NBA commissioner Adam Silver's announcement last week that he doesn't know if a deal will be in place by the start of the 2014-15 season in October.
It also came in the wake of recent explosive emotional outbursts in court from 80-year-old Sterling during the trial to determine whether Shelly Sterling has the right to sell the team.
Along with calling the NBA "the worst corporation in America," Sterling promised that he "will never, ever, ever sell this team, and until I die," when he testified July 9. He also called his wife a "pig" and told the Los Angeles courtroom that she deceived him. "I never thought that a woman wouldn’t stand by her husband," he said.
Monday's meeting between the current owner and the potential future owner was reportedly arranged Sunday night following a three-hour conversation between Donald and Shelly.
Earlier Monday, the Associated Press reported that Sterling may be forced to sell a large portion of his real estate empire to cover $500 million in loans if he persists in refusing to sell the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion, according to the chief financial officer of Sterling's properties.
Darren Schield, who oversees the finances of The Sterling Family Trust, testified Monday that three banks are ready to recall their loans to Sterling because of his decision to dissolve the trust.
His move was designed to rescind his signed agreement for the sale of the Clippers, a team he bought for $12 million. Schield said if Sterling has to dump $500 million worth of apartment buildings he could destabilize the Los Angeles real estate market.
Sterling attorney Maxwell Blecher suggested that Sterling could take the company public in order to raise funds; however, when Schield was asked by Shelly's lawyer, Pierce O'Donnell, if it would be easy to go public, he replied: "There's huge reputation issues. I don't know if anyone would want to go into partnership with him."
Shelly Sterling is due to testify in the civil case again Tuesday, with closing arguments scheduled for July 28.