Sources familiar with the sale tell us ... the ex-Microsoft CEO was able to separate himself from the pack of potential L.A. Clippers buyers by making an "ALL CASH" offer to buy the squad.
File Under: "You Know You're Rich When" ... YOU CAN MAKE A $2 BILLION CASH OFFER TO BUY AN NBA TEAM ... like Steve Ballmer just did with the Clippers.
Clearly, Shelly Sterling likey.
It's not like Ballmer has a problem coming up with the dough -- he's worth an estimated $20 BILLION according to Forbes.
Who says WINDOWS is obsolete!?