No Joke: Shelly Sterling Named 'Owner Emeritus,' 'Clippers Number One Fan' After Sale Finalized
When Steve Ballmer became the official owner of the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday, he was reportedly contractually obligated to name Shelly Sterling, the wife of Donald Sterling, "owner emeritus," "Clippers Number One Fan," and the head of the team's charity.
According to ABC7 in Los Angeles, "Ballmer has apparently agreed to give Shelly Sterling the titles of 'Clippers Number One Fan' and 'owner emeritus.'"
Can't. Make. This. Up.
A lawyer recently told Sports Illustrated that Ballmer may have wanted to buy the team from the NBA so he could completely dissociate himself from Sterling:
“I have a hard time believing that Steve Ballmer would not be willing to pay at least the same amount two months from now. In fact, the team may be worth more to him at that point, since if he buys the Clippers directly from the NBA, he would not have make Shelly Sterling ‘Owner Emeritus’ and ‘Clippers’ Number 1 Fan,’ and give her free seats and other forms of continued influence over his team, as he’s obligated to under his current deal.”
Ballmer, the former Microsoft executive, purchased the franchise for $2 billion, and there is no word on what he may have been willing to pay to not have to give those titles to Shelly Sterling.