Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and his $2 billion might not be able to assume control of the LA Clippers anytime soon, NBA commissioner Adam Silver acknowledged in a chat with reporters on Tuesday. At the moment, the fate of the franchise is in the hands of the courts, and Donald Sterling could still be the owner by the time the regular season rolls around. Per NBA.com:
“No, I cannot say it with certainty, and I cannot say it with certainty because it’s in the hands of the probate court,” Silver said.
“I can say with certainty, we are doing everything in our power to move Donald out as an owner in the NBA. If the probate ruling doesn’t go in our favor, we’ll recommence our procedures under termination.”
The termination mechanism in the NBA’s constitution and by-laws still is available to Silver and the owners. But the probate trial in L.A. – with Donald challenging Shelly’s right to remove him as a co-trustee of the family trust and to sell the team, based on two doctors’ findings that the 81-year-old billionaire was mentally incapacitated – is grinding slowly.