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Councilman Bernard Parks Optimistic About Sale of Clippers to Steve Ballmer

"He certainly is going to inherit a outstanding team and it is a matter if he can continue that movement up the ladder," Parks said.

Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard Parks. Photo courtesy the city of Los Angeles.
Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard Parks. Photo courtesy the city of Los Angeles.

Originally posted at 2:54 p.m. May 30, 2014. Edited with new details.

Los Angeles Councilman Bernard Parks said today he is cautiously optimistic the proposed sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion would provide a fresh start for the franchise.

Embattled Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been under fire since a recorded conversation of him disparaging companion V. Stiviano for having her picture taken with black people, including Magic Johnson, was made public. Sterling also told Stiviano not to bring black people to Clipper games.

Councilman Bernard Parks, who has been vocal in condemning Sterling, said it is difficult to forecast what kind of owner Ballmer would be, but the high price tag -- $2 billion -- shows the value of the team.

"He certainly is going to inherit (an) outstanding team and it is a matter if he can continue that movement up the ladder," Parks said.

Parks said the healing will not be automatic.

"I just don't think you can say everything is OK," Parks said. "I think it just gives you another stage to continue looking for issues of similar nature and to be as sensitive as you can down the road. I don't think you can just draw a line and say it is over. I think then you have lost the teaching moment of the learning experience."

Ballmer's offer topped a $1.6 billion bid from a group that included entertainment mogul David Geffen and a $1.2 billion bid from investors Tony Ressler and Steve Karsh, the Los Angeles Times reported. The $2 billion offer for the Clippers far surpasses the previous record for an NBA team -- $550 million paid this month for the Milwaukee Bucks.

The NBA Board of Governors will have to approve any sale of the Clippers.

ESPN reported that Donald Sterling, 80, recently was found by experts to be mentally incapacitated, allowing his wife to be the sole trustee of the family trust and giving her the power to deal directly with Ballmer under guidelines previously established in the Sterling family trust.

Ballmer, 58, was part of a group that last year tried to purchase the Sacramento Kings and move the team to Seattle.

The NBA, however, balked at moving the franchise. Ballmer has said he had no intention of trying to move the Clippers out of Los Angeles.

--City News Service


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