Updated: Tuesday, 29 July 2014 06:32 | By Agence France-Presse

US judge approves Clippers sale to ex Microsoft CEO

A California judge on Monday gave the go-ahead to the $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer, ruling that embattled owner Donald Sterling could not block the move.

US judge approves Clippers sale to ex Microsoft CEO

Shelly Sterling reacts while facing the media outside the courthouse in Los Angeles on July 28, 2014 - by Frederic J. Brown

The ruling from California Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas came at the end of a three-week trial pitting the 80-year-old Sterling -- barred from the National Basketball Association for life for making racist remarks -- against his estranged wife Shelly, who made the deal with Ballmer.

Donald Sterling had challenged his wife's authority to sell the NBA franchise. 

Shelly Sterling negotiated the deal on behalf of the family trust, after Donald Sterling's position as co-trustee was terminated when two medical experts declared him mentally incompetent to handle trust affairs.

In April, recordings of Sterling making racist comments to his would-be girlfriend led NBA commissioner Adam Silver to ban him for life from the sport and launch proceedings to strip him of the team.

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