LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Could a move to Seattle be brewing for the Clippers?
Shelley Sterling, the estranged wife of Clippers owner Donald Sterling, has reportedly met with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer about a possible sale of the team, according to TMZ and ESPN.com.
Ballmer, who lives in the Seattle area, was part of a failed effort last year to move the Sacramento Kings to his home city, which hasn’t had an NBA team since the Supersonics in 2008.
While he wouldn’t speculate on a possible Clippers ownership bid, Ballmer did tell the Wall Street Journal it’s unlikely he would try to move the team, adding that “moving them anywhere else would be value destructive.”
BasketballInsiders.com editor Steven Kyler told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO he doubts Ballmer has any moving plans now that the Clippers have surged in value following their run deep into the NBA postseason.
“I don’t think there’s any way you can escape the idea that once the Staples Center lease expires, once some of the other things come off the table, that that team might become portable again,” Kyler said. “But I think when you really look where the valuation is gonna be, it’s worth more in LA than it ever would be in Seattle.”
Shelly Sterling reportedly said she would “never sell to someone” who planned on relocating the Clippers, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, who confirmed the Ballmer meeting on Twitter.
League officials have signaled they will not let Shelly Sterling sell the Clippers on her own terms. A vote is scheduled on June 3.
Donald Sterling faces a formal charge of violating the NBA constitution over racist comments he made on a leaked audio recording.