Billionaire loses appeal to reverse $2B sale of LA Clippers

Magic Johnson: I Forgave Donald Sterling, I Don't Keep Grudges

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Former Clippers owner Donald Sterling lost his appeal Monday to regain the team his estranged wife sold last year for a record $2 billion after he was booted from the NBA for making discriminatory remarks about blacks.

The 2nd District Court of Appeal said Shelly Sterling properly removed her husband from a family trust that owned the team and that the sale to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer prevented the trust from an "extraordinary loss."

Shelly Sterling took control of the family trust after a recording surfaced of Donald Sterling making offensive comments to a young girlfriend about blacks and other minorities.

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The NBA fined him $2.5 million, banned him from the league for life and threatened to seize and auction the team.

Shelly Sterling was able to take control of the trust after two doctors found her husband of nearly six decades had signs of Alzheimer's disease.

The 81-year-old billionaire sued his wife to block the sale, but a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled against him and approved the sale in July 2014.

The appeals court said Donald Sterling failed to show the judge committed any legal error.

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Billionaire loses appeal to reverse $2B sale of LA Clippers
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 21: NBA Basketball player Chris Paul (R) Los Angeles Clippers introduces U.S. President Barack Obama at the Walker Jones Education Campus, on July 21, 2014 in Washington, DC. President Obama spoke to area youth about My Brothers Keeper Initiative during a town hall meeting. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 15: Chris Paul #3 of the Los Angeles Clippers stands on the court against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 15, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 15: Chris Paul #3 and J.J. Redick #4 of the Los Angeles Clippers during a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 15, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 15: Chris Paul #3 of the Los Angeles Clippers dribbles the ball against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 15, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 15: Chris Paul #3 of the Los Angeles Clippers shoots a foul shot against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on May 15, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - MAY 13: Chris Paul #3 of the Los Angeles Clippers loses possesion of the ball to Serge Ibaka #9 of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the final seconds in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Chesapeake Energy Arena on May 13, 2014 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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The three-judge panel also noted that before Sterling refused to sign off on the sale he had congratulated his wife on the price she negotiated.

"Wow, you really did a good job," he exclaimed.

The price was $400 million above the next best offer and far above what anyone thought the team, a perennial loser that was on the rise, would fetch.

Donald Sterling, an attorney who amassed a fortune by buying apartment buildings around Los Angeles, bought the team in 1981 for $12 million.

Sterling has a lawsuit pending in federal court against his wife, the doctors who examined him and the NBA.

He filed to divorce Shelly Sterling this year.

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