Donald Sterling’s Court “Loss” Is Really His Gain

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Mark Melin
Displayed with permission from Value Walk

As the man is ruled mentally incapable by two doctors rejects a sweetheart deal over a further ego boost, perhaps not hitting Steve Balmer’s Clipper’s offer might be the real sign of insanity

News reports say that Donald Sterling “lost” his recent battle with his longtime wife, who wants to sell an ego boost called the Los Angeles Clippers to an overpaying Microsoft founder looking for a new toy. Is this report that he “lost” accurate, or is the Donald of the west coast delusional?

A California probate judge ruled Monday that Shelly Sterling’s deal to sell the “other” and often little recognized Los Angeles basketball team for a record can proceed. This might be a huge benefit to the elder Mr. Sterling as he should be happy to take the money and run.

Judge Michael Levanas ruled in favor of Shelly Sterling, saying that when she removed Sterling from the trust that owns the NBA team it was proper, as Donald might be a little unbalanced in his market judgments. The court ruled Shelly Sterling was within her rights to oust her husband from the trust because he was mentally imbalanced, a headline in the CNN article reads. Mrs. Sterling became sole trustee in May after two doctors determined Donald Sterling was mentally incapacitated, the report noted.

An appeal by Donald Sterling is unlikely to be successful, a CNN legal analyst noted, because it would likely be based on facts and Appellate courts are loathsome to overturn a probate judge’s decision on facts.

“His reaction is very calm,” Bobby Samini, Sterling’s attorney who benefits from a prolonged court fight, was quoted as saying. “He didn’t see this as the final battleground. This is one stage of a long war,” from which Samini is happy to fight.

As previously reported in ValueWalk, former Microsoft Corporation executive Steve Ballmer is over paying for ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team to a historic level, a bid book complied by financial experts suggests. Ballmer’s $2 billion bid is nearly double where sports financial experts had valued the team.

Steve Balmer is basking in the congratulatory glow that is akin to “winning” a “prize” at a charity auction. Everyone congratulates the winning bidder for essentially overpaying for a charity item.

“We are pleased that the court has affirmed Shelly Sterling’s right to sell the Los Angeles Clippers to Steve Ballmer,” the NBA said through spokesman Mike Bass. “We look forward to the transaction closing as soon as possible.”

In other words, take the money and run, Donald.

Pierce O’Donnell, an attorney for Shelly Sterling, said they hoped to ignore the Donald Sterling’s objections and have the sale completed by August 13.

“This is going to be a good thing for the city, for the league, for my family, for all of us,” said Shelly Sterling, who added she will still be sitting courtside next season as if to taunt his skirt chasing former husband.

The Donald of the west needs to move on, root for a new team. The Brooklyn Dodgers (or whatever that basketball team off the island is named) might want a high profile fan to sit courtside alongside movie producer Spike Lee. Who knows, he might find a new “girlfriend” in the process. There are plenty of single hedge fund guys running around in the Hamptons right now who could operate as his wing-man.