It appears Steve Ballmer is seriously interested in purchasing the Los Angeles Clippers.
TMZ reported this afternoon that the former Microsoft CEO met with Donald Sterling’s wife, Shelley, on Sunday afternoon to discuss a potential sale of the NBA team.
ESPN reported on Friday that Donald Sterling, who was banned from the NBA on April 29 after making racist comments, will allow his wife to negotiate a deal for the Clippers. The NBA is attempting to force Sterling to relinquish ownership of the team.
Meanwhile, Ballmer’s name has come up as a potential buyer. Along with hedge fund manager Chris Hansen, Ballmer was close to buying the Sacramento Kings franchise one year ago with plans to build a brand new sports arena in Seattle, but the duo ultimately lost out after an NBA committee blocked the $625 million deal. Ballmer was also part of another investment group that tried to keep the Sonics in Seattle in 2008 before the team left for Oklahoma City.
Ballmer told the Wall Street Journal earlier this month that if he ends up buying the Clippers, he would not move them to Seattle even though he still lives in the Northwest.
“I don’t work anymore, so I have more geographic flexibility than I did a year, year-and-a half ago,” he told the Journal. “Moving them anywhere else would be value destructive.”
Of course, TMZ is a celebrity gossip site and not the most reliable news source. But the website did break the piece of news that started this entire process in the first place when it first reported the audio clip of Sterling’s comments.