California Judge Affirms Shelly Sterling Authority to Sell Los Angeles Clippers

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By Vincent Paul Hidalgo | July 29, 2014 12:33 PM EST

Donald Sterling lost heavily in court Monday and probably in the near future, his beloved Los Angeles Clippers.

REUTERS/Danny Moloshok
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling (C), his wife Shelly (L) and actor George Segal attend the NBA basketball game between the Toronto Raptors and the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, December 22, 2008.

This development comes as a California judge Michael Levanas ruled that Shelly Sterling, the Clippers' embattled owner's wife, was in good faith when she sought the expertise of two neurologists to determine the mental health of her estranged husband. The said medical process was invoked by Shelly Sterling to determine if his husband is suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's disease. Levanas determined that Shelly Sterling's actions are not conspiratorial and driven by an effort to sell the family' ownership stake.

ESPN reports that this latest court ruling may pave the way and erase any hiccups on the official sale of the storied franchise to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and his group. The franchise was reportedly bid out Ballmer for a hefty price of $2 billion.

Despite having an extensive background in litigation being a lawyer himself, Donald Sterling did not display the professionalism expected from his background. He was conspicuously absent during the first day of hearing and when he did he gave combative testimony when he took the stand. He went as far as being recorded of calling her estranged wife a "pig" these after countless issues of womanizing surfaced.

His legal battles famously stems from a racist rant recorded and made public by a former lover determined to ruin his reputation in across the league. V. Stiviano, a former fling of Sterling taped her former lover that he did not want her to be pictured on social media with African American man. The NBA being a league dominated of different races took the matters seriously and acted swiftly.

Headed by newly installed NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, the league condemned within days the Los Angeles Clippers owner, ordered him to pay a hefty fine and was banned for life by the league. As a private league, the NBA has the power to protect itself from intrigues and scandals which may cost the rest of the owners, revenue. It was revealed that in the past former NBA Commissioner David Stern trekked shaky bridges to allow the presence of Donald Sterling but once the scandal broke out and the league lost money, the rest of the owners chose to invoke the by-laws to oust the controversial Donald Sterling.

However even if Donald Sterling loses all of his stake in the ownership, a massive payout amounting to an estimated $1.5 billion is waiting for him once capital gains and taxes are accounted for. The NBA for its part can heave a sigh of relief that it did its part of curbing the controversy and prevent any future occurrences of such nature.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Danny Moloshok / )
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling (C), his wife Shelly (L) and actor George Segal attend the NBA basketball game between the Toronto Raptors and the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, December 22, 2008.
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