Shelly Sterling beats Donald Sterling in court, clears sale of Clippers to Steve Ballmer

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Donald Sterling, done in by his own idiocy several times over, has effectively run out of chances to keep the Clippers any longer than it takes to complete the paperwork of a sale.

Make no mistake, Sterling was going to lose his team no matter what. He was essentially fighting for which method of removal would end his demonstrably racist reign.

This is how he goes down, losing a legal battle to prevent his wife, Shelly Sterling, from selling the team on his behalf. Shelly will soon make her $2 billion sale to Steve Ballmer thanks to a judge’s ruling today.

Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times:

NBA release:

The following statement has been issued by Mike Bass, Executive Vice President, Communications, regarding today’s probate court ruling regarding the Sterling Family Trust:

“We are pleased that the court has affirmed Shelly Sterling’s right to sell the Los Angeles Clippers to Steve Ballmer.  We look forward to the transaction closing as soon as possible.”

This is a huge win for Shelly, who gets a bunch of perks because she split from her racist husband just in time to get as many of their ill-gotten gains for herself

It’s also a huge win for the other NBA owners, who don’t have to deal with the nasty task of voting out one of their own and get a $2 billion sale on the record that inflates the values of everyone’s franchises. Yes, the league wanted Sterling out no matter what, but this was the most profitable – not the quickest – way to achieve that goal, and don’t forget that fact as everyone celebrates Sterling’s downfall.

One more huge winner: Steve Ballmer, who gets an NBA team. He might have overpaid, but that’s his choice, and the judge affirmed his right to make it.

The loser is Donald. This saga isn’t over, but with his ability to appeal restricted, I can’t see how he blocks the sale any longer. Soon, the team will be Ballmer’s and Donald’s legal fight seeking financial remedies will fade into the background. At that point, I don’t care much how billionaires split up their money.

Donald is out, which is good. If you want to feel icky about this whole affair, I hardly blame you. I’m not exactly looking forward to a Ballmer reign that leaves Shelly a visible part of the franchise just so other owners can inflate their own wallets, but here we are.

Rockets’ Clint Capela on Warriors: ‘I expect to beat them’

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During the 2014-15 season, Rockets star James Harden said the Warriors “ain’t even that good.”

Golden State went on to reach the last three NBA Finals, twice beating Houston in the playoffs, and win two championships.

The Rockets have since re-tooled around Harden, Chris Paul and several quality role players and are in first place. Houston looks like the biggest threat to the Warriors in the Western Conference.

Rockets center Clint Capela on the Warriors, via Dave Schilling of Bleacher Report:

“I expect to beat them,” Capela says.

That’s a fine sentiment. Saying it publicly is another matter. Not even Harden did that a couple years ago. He was recorded during a pregame team huddle.

There’s a fine line between self-fulfilling confidence and providing bulletin-board material to the opponent. There’s already some animosity between the teams stemming from the Stephen Curry-Harden MVP race in 2015, and it has bubbled since. No matter how harmless Capela’s remark might have been intended to be, it’ll be met contentiously in the Bay Area.

PBT Extra Player of the Week: Victor Oladipo

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Oklahoma City traded for Victor Oladipo out of Orlando to be their third scorer, behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. It didn’t exactly work out that way, Durant bolted town and when Westbrook went off Oladipo was looking for a place to fit in.

That place turned out to be the Pacers.

Oladipo has been playing like an All-Star this season with Indiana, and last week he was key in snapping Cleveland’s 13 game win streak, then turned around and dropped 47 points on Denver. For the week he averaged 35.7 points a game, shot 45.7 percent from three, plus grabbed 7.7 rebounds per game.

That will get you named the PBT Extra Player of the Week.

Watch Pacers fan boo Paul George during introductions (video)

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Paul George – who told the Pacers he’d leave in free agency, prompting them to trade him to the Thunder – expected boos in his return to Indiana.

Pacers fans delivered.

They’ve also booed him every time he has touched the ball, which will certainly persist.

John Wall returns for Wizards-Grizzlies

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Point guard John Wall was in the Washington Wizards’ lineup Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies after missing nine games with a sore left knee.

Coach Scott Brooks said Wall would play in the mid-20-minute range, perhaps a bit more.

The Wizards (14-13), currently in first place in the Southeast Division, went 4-5 in Wall’s absence.

“He such a force offensively,” Brooks said of Wall. “He’s a two-way player and he’s one of the few guys in the league that can find open 3-point shooters going 100 miles an hour in transition.”

Wall, 27, is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists per game.