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Donald Sterling can’t block sale of Clippers, judge rules

A judge’s ruling paves the way for Donald Sterling’s wife to move forward with the $2 billion sale to former Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer.

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images/File

A judge’s ruling paves the way for Donald Sterling’s wife to move forward with the $2 billion sale to former Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer.

LOS ANGELES — A probate court judge ruled Monday that Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, could not block the sale of the team that his wife, Rochelle, brokered for $2 billion against his wishes.

The judge, Michael Levanas of California Superior Court, said he found Rochelle Sterling to be a more credible witness than her husband, who acted erratically during several days of testimony, raising his voice at lawyers from both sides, and referring to his wife as “a pig.”

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Levanas also ruled that the sale could go through immediately.

The central question in the case was whether Rochelle Sterling acted properly in removing her estranged husband from their trust.

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Two doctors declared Donald Sterling incapacitated after examining him, which Rochelle Sterling’s lawyers have said satisfied the trust’s requirement to remove someone as co-trustee.

Donald Sterling’s lawyers said he was duped into taking the exams, which they have argued were used as a pretense to take the team away from him.

Rochelle Sterling agreed in May to sell the team to Steve Ballmer, the former Microsoft executive, for $2 billion, a record for an NBA franchise.

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