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Appeals court denies Donald Sterling's bid to block Clippers' sale

Appeals court denies Donald Sterling's bid to block Clippers' sale
The state 2nd Court of Appeal on Wednesday rejected Donald Sterling's petition to stop Shelly Sterling's sale of the Clippers to Steve Ballmer, saying, essentially, that it was a done deal. (Mark Terrill / Associated Press)

An appeals court has rejected Donald Sterling’s petition to halt the $2-billion sale of the Clippers to Steve Ballmer.

"The evidence before this court indicates the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers … has closed," the ruling from the state 2nd Court of Appeal said Wednesday. "Thus, there is nothing for this court to stay."

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The appeals court also turned down Sterling's request to overturn a lower court's ruling that cleared the path for the sale to Ballmer.

"Even if the sale had not closed," the ruling said, "petitioner has failed to show that the balancing of the relative harm favors granting a temporary stay."

In a statement, Ballmer's attorney Adam Streisand said he is "supremely confident that this is now over and done" and that Ballmer is the "undisputed owner" of the Clippers.

Sterling's petition claimed the sale occurred as the result of a "lone judge applying two novel legal interpretations."

“If the rule of law can be flouted in this way for someone like Donald Sterling, who is unpopular but powerful, who is next?” the petition said.
Sterling's attorneys, Max Blecher and Bobby Samini, released a statement that read in part:
"We ... are deeply disappointed that he has been deprived from ownership of Clippers after 33 years without being accorded appellate review of this harsh result. Nevertheless, we are confident Donald will be completely vindicated in his federal case against the NBA."

Follow Nathan Fenno on Twitter @nathanfenno.

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