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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.

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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