It may have been the moment in court when Donald Sterling called his wife of more than a half century a “pig.” Or, perhaps it happened before the trial began when Donald Sterling wondered aloud what Magic Johnson had ever accomplished save for contracting AIDS. But at some point in recent months Judge Michael Levanas decided that Donald Sterling didn’t know his own best interests in refusing to sell a team he bought for $12 million for $2 billion.
Judge Levanas ruled in favor of Shelly Sterling Monday in California probate court. The decision clears the way for the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Perhaps as importantly, it prohibits Donald Sterling from seeking a delay of the sale as he appeals the case.
The decision serves as the latest setback for Donald Sterling. In April, TMZ publicized a recording in which Sterling warned a mistress not to associate with African Americans. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver shortly thereafter banned the controversial league figure for life. Two doctors subsequently diagnosed the octogenarian owner with Alzheimer’s disease, which served as the basis for Mrs. Sterling engineering the sale of her husband’s team.
“I can’t believe it’s over,” Shelly Sterling announced after the ruling. “This is the best thing.”