Donald Sterling's Appeal to Block Sale of Clippers Rejected

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Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 8, 2014

Donald Sterling is not giving up the Los Angeles Clippers without a fight.

Less than two weeks after a judge ruled against him in an attempt to fight the $2 billion sale of the franchise to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Sterling was at it again on Friday.

The owner went to an appellate court in an attempt to once again block the sale, according to The Associated Press:

Lawyers for Sterling had asked the Second District Court of Appeals to stay [Superior Court Judge Michael] Levanas' ruling that cleared the way for the sale. They said the judge prematurely finalized his ruling so the sale can be completed without a chance to appeal. ...

The main complaint of the appellants is the judge's decision to allow the sale to go forward with no time for an appeal. He used a section of law that bars a stay of his decision.

It did not take long for the court to reject the appeal. Ramona Shelburne of provides the details:

Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times quoted the order, which said, "Presently there is nothing for this court to review."

Fenno also provides comments from one of Donald Sterling's lawyers:

"Once there's a sale, you can't go back," said Gary Ruttenberg, one of Sterling's attorneys.

After Levanas signed the final statement of decision in the probate case Thursday, Sterling's attorneys believed that only the judge issuing a final order stood in the way of the Clippers' sale.

The entire series of events was set in motion when a recording containing Sterling making racist comments was released to the public by TMZ. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver made a bold action by banning the 80-year-old businessman from the league for life along with fining him $2.5 million in late April. 

After this decision, Donald's wife, Shelley Sterling, agreed to sell the team to Ballmer as the highest bidder, and the two sides officially signed the deal in May.

Sterling appeared ready to complete the sale of the Clippers in early June but has since attempted to take legal action to prevent the transaction from happening.

While this situation is likely not yet finished, time is running out to prevent the deal.


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