Report: Ballmer would pay $US1.8 billion for the L.A. Clippers

Ballmer has been interested in owning an NBA franchise for a while

Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is reportedly offering $1.8 billion for the L.A. Clippers, but that's not even the highest offer for the NBA franchise.

According to Forbes, someone familiar with Ballmer's interests quotes the $US1.8 billion figure.

Another source familiar with bids received by Rochelle Sterling - who has taken over the team for her husband, Donald - says they range up to $US2 billion and described Ballmer's bid as strong.

Ballmer has been interested in owning an NBA franchise for a while, most recently trying to buy the Sacramento Kings and move the team to Seattle when he was still CEO of Microsoft. He has said in an interview that if he did buy the Clippers, moving them would hurt the team value.

This is just the first round of bidding, so the price could go higher and alliances among bidders could form to share ownership.

The team is up for sale after the long-time owner Donald Sterling was banned for life from the NBA for racial comments he made in a phone call that was recorded and publicly released. After the ban, his wife took over the team so the league wouldn't be in charge of the sale.

Tim Greene covers Microsoft and unified communications for Network World and writes the Mostly Microsoft blog. Reach him at tgreene@nww.com and follow him on Twitter@Tim_Greene.

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.

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