Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed the NBC report after receiving an email from Sterling's attorney Max Blecher:
Donald Sterling plans to file a $1 billion lawsuit against the NBA, his attorney Max Blecker confirms in email to Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 30, 2014
This comes only a day after Sterling's wife, Shelly, reportedly agreed to sell the Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion, per The Associated Press. If the sale goes through, it will be the most anybody has ever paid to own an NBA team:
BREAKING: Steve Ballmer, Shelly Sterling reach agreement for $2B sale of Los Angeles Clippers, source says— The Associated Press (@AP) May 30, 2014
Following the proposed sale, Sterling is weighing whether or not to file a lawsuit against his wife, as well, per ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne:
Sterling's lawyer MAx Blecher tells ESPN he is filing a lawsuit against the NBA for $1 billion in damages, still weighing suit vs. Shelly— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) May 30, 2014
Wojnarowski also reported that Sterling is still turning over every rock to see if he can prevent Ballmer's purchase of the Clippers:
Blecker tells Yahoo that Sterling is "looking ... separately" at possible legal action to stop sale agreement of Clippers to Steve Ballmer.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 30, 2014
Shelly Sterling was empowered to sell the team after experts determined that Donald Sterling was mentally incapacitated. That left control of the Clippers in the hands of the Sterling family trust, of which Shelly became the sole trustee:
Espn has learned that experts had declared Donald Sterling mentally incapacitated, leaving Shelly as sole trustee & power to sell the team— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) May 30, 2014
The Sterling Family Trust had rules & guidelines about mental incapacitation. Very recently, Donald was found by experts to be incapacitated— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) May 30, 2014
Once that happened, Shelly became sole trustee and had power to do deal w/ Ballmer, which is now being sent directly to the NBA for approval— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) May 30, 2014
TMZ shed some more light on Sterling's health status when it reported that Donald Sterling was suffering from Alzheimer's. Shelburne later confirmed the story:
Can confirm TMZ report that Sterling was diagnosed w/ Alzheimer's.— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) May 30, 2014
Earlier this month, he agreed to be examined by two neurologists. They diagnosed w/ Alzheimer's, said he's probably had for 3-5 years— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) May 30, 2014
Sterling has always maintained through his attorney, Blecher, that he would refuse to the sell the Clippers, per Brent Schrotenboer of USA Today. Blecher told USA Today that any reports of Sterling authorizing his wife to take control of the team and promptly sell it were incorrect.
Sterling also sent a 32-page retort to the league in which he claimed that he did nothing to violate the terms of his ownership contract with the NBA. He used the California Penal Code and his right to privacy as the main leg of his defense.
His response ended with, "A jealous rant to a lover never intended to be published cannot offend the NBA rules."