Donald Sterling's Wife Approached by Bidders for the Clippers (Report)

4:33 PM PST 05/26/2014 by Debbie Emery
AP Images

Shelly Sterling has had inquiries from at least six serious buyers interested in the Los Angeles NBA team, including former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Following reports on Thursday that Shelly Sterling will negotiate the forced sale of the Los Angeles Clippers, Donald Sterling's wife has already received inquiries from six potential buyers, according to ESPN.

Among those interested in the NBA team is Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who met with her on Sunday to discuss a sale.

It is not the first sign of interest that Ballmer has shown in a basketball franchise. He was part of the effort to bring an NBA team back to Seattle following the move of the SuperSonics to Oklahoma City to become the Thunder in 2008.

STORY: Donald Sterling's Wife to Negotiate Sale of Clippers 

"If the opportunity is outside of Seattle, so be it. I will learn about any team that comes up for sale at this point," he told the Wall Street Journal last week. "If I get interested in the Clippers, it would be for Los Angeles," he said, vowing that he would not move the team to the Pacific Northwest.

"I don't work anymore, so I have more geographic flexibility than I did a year, year and a half ago. Moving them anywhere else would be value-destructive."

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Sterling's attorney, Pierce O'Donnell, is handling the sale with Bob Baradaran, a managing partner at his law firm, Greenberg Glusker, and Darren Schield and Doug Watson of Beverly Hills Properties, a real estate company owned by the Sterling family, reported ESPN.

Former NBA All-Star Grant Hill -- who played for the Clippers in the 2012-2013 season -- and billionaire investors and Tony Ressler and Bruce Karsh are also said to be interested in the team. 

Meanwhile, the NBA has not yet confirmed whether it will allow Shelly Sterling to sell the team, and the league still intends to hold a June 3 hearing to terminate her husband's ownership as part of his lifetime ban for alleged racist comments. 

"We continue to follow the process set forth in the NBA Constitution regarding termination of the current ownership interests in the Los Angeles Clippers and are proceeding toward a hearing on this matter on June 3," said spokesperson Mike Bass in a statement released Friday. 
 

One major force that Shelly Sterling will have to contend with if she sells the team is the tax man. According to IRS law, the Sterlings will have to pay a federal long-term capital-gains tax of 20 percent and a California tax of 13.3 percent. If the team is sold for $1 billion, the taxes will amount to $328.5 million, compared with the $13.5 million price tag that Donald Sterling bought the Clippers for in 1981.

The shamed owner also owes the NBA $2.5 million in fines over his controversial comments following a harsh ruling by commissioner Adam Silver on April 29.

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