the billionaires who want them."
Sterling, a Los Angeles-area real estate developer, paid $12.5 million in 1981 for the Clippers, which were then located in San Diego.
Ballmer, 58, who retired as Microsoft CEO in February, remains on the board and still owns about 4 percent of the Redmond, Washington-based software giant, worth $13.4 billion.
Last year, he joined a group that unsuccessfully bid on the Sacramento Kings basketball team. A long-time basketball fan, until a few years ago he played a regular pickup game with other Microsoft colleagues at a public gym near the Microsoft campus.
It is unclear how the team's potential sale will affect a June 3 hearing the NBA scheduled at which Donald Sterling can address the accusations against him. At that meeting, the owners could force him to sell the team on a vote by 23 of the remaining 29 owners, the NBA has said.
Maxwell Blecher, Sterling's lawyer, said in an interview with CNN that his client is prepared to file suit to fight the charges, but that he intended to wait for communication from the NBA before deciding when and whether to do so.