In a development that makes Donald Sterling reacquiring the Los Angeles Clippers virtually impossible, court records indicate that Sterling failed to petition the California Supreme Court for review by Monday’s deadline. The failure means that Sterling has run out of legal options in California to force former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to return the franchise to him.

Under California law, Sterling had 10 business days from Aug. 13 – the date an intermediate appellate court summarily rejected Sterling’s two petitions for the $2 billion sale of the Clippers be halted or reversed – to petition the California Supreme Court with the same request. It would have been a long shot request, to be sure, but Sterling was entitled to give it a try. By allowing the deadline to pass without a petition to the California Supreme Court, Sterling effectively acquiesces to Ballmer’s ownership of the team.

On one hand, Sterling’s inaction is stunning given his litigious past and reputation for trying every legal move imaginable. This is, after-all, the same Donald Sterling who earlier in the summer described NBA officials as “despicable monsters” and who vowed a “fight to the bloody end” to keep the Clippers. On the other hand, Sterling’s capitulation is consistent with his more recent comments to TMZ.com when he lamented, “I’m finished. I’m over.” When it comes to owning the Clippers, Sterling is indeed finished.