UPDATE 9:30 p.m. EDT: Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer scored the winning bid for the Los Angeles Clippers with a reported offer of $2 billion. That is the highest selling price ever for an NBA team.
Ballmer and Clippers co-owner Shelly Sterling reached a deal late Thursday afternoon, according to the Los Angeles Times. But an attorney for Shelly Sterling's estranged husband, Clippers co-owner Donald Sterling, said "There's been no sale. There can be no sale without Donald's signature."
Donald Sterling's racists remarks brought him a multi-million-dollar fine and a pledge by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver that Sterling would be forced to sell the team.
Ballmer was the CEO of Microsoft for 14 years. Other names mentioned as possible buyers for the Clippers -- whom Ballmer apparently outbid -- included David Geffen, investors Steve Karsh and Tony Ressler, and executives from the Guggenheim Group.
Ballmer appears to be making the purchase by himself, not with a group or co-owner.
Three-quarters of the 30 NBA owners would need to vote to approve the deal. They are expected to vote "yes" -- as long as Ballmer assures them that the team will remain in Los Angeles.
Last year Ballmer (as part of a group led by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen) bid on the Sacramento Kings, with the intention of moving the team to Seattle; NBA owners rejected the proposal.
Ballmer has said that the Clippers would lose value if they left Los Angeles.