Los Angeles Clippers bought by former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2billion

Head coach Doc Rivers expected to extend contract with the team

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The Independent Online

Billionaire Steve Ballmer has officially become the new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, taking over from Shelley Sterling.

The $2billion sale follows a long legal tussle between Shelley and her disgraced husband Donald Sterling, who was fighting to keep hold of the team after the NBA banned him from ownership for racist remarks.

"It's very, very exciting. I'm a basketball nut," the former Microsoft CEO told ESPN.

"I've got time. I love Los Angeles. I love Seattle, too, which is where we have our home. But the notion of spending a lot of time in Los Angeles has been exciting to me for years.

"The community down there is great. I look forward to supporting the community, the fan base, the staff, [head coach] Doc [Rivers] and the players to take this thing to higher heights."

Rivers, who led the Clippers to 57 wins and the second round of the playoffs last season, is expected to meet Ballmer and discuss an extension to his contract, which has two years still to run.

There were rumours that Clippers players, led by star point guard Chris Paul, would refuse to play if Sterling remained in charge.

The previous record for the sale of an NBA team stood at £550m when the Milwaukee Bucks were bought earlier this year.