When we first heard that former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was buying the Clippers for $2 billion last night, we were surprised. We were relieved, because it was great to hear that Donald Sterling was no longer going to be associated with the NBA. But we were also surprised, because we thought that Sterling was going to put up a huge legal fight before he was eventually forced to sell his team. But now we know why Sterling was reportedly unable to stop the sale of the Clippers to Ballmer.
According to USA TODAY Sports, who spoke with a source close to the situation, Sterling's wife Shelly was able to complete the sale of the team last night because the Sterling Family Trust recently called on several experts to determine whether or not Donald Sterling still had the mental capacity to make decisions related to the trust. And those experts found that Sterling was "mentally unfit" and unable to make good decisions regarding both the Clippers and the other things within the trust. So even though Donald and Shelly both own 50 percent of the Clippers, that ruling allowed Shelly to sell the team without Donald signing off on it.
"Shelly Sterling was acting under her authority as the sole trustee of the Sterling Family Trust which owns the Clippers," Shelly's representatives said in a statement released late last night.
There is still a chance that Donald Sterling and his lawyers could try and fight the sale of the Clippers before it goes all the way through. But at this point, it looks like his own family's trust could prevent him from stopping the sale entirely. Stay tuned to see what desperate moves he tries to make to stop the sale.
[via USA TODAY Sports]