The war being waged between Donald Sterling and the NBA took another turn on Tuesday, as the league reportedly countersued the former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Ken Berger of CBS Sports provided details about the suit:
League source confirms @BA_Turner report that NBA has countersued Donald Sterling in federal court.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) August 12, 2014
NBA seeks damages and expenses related to Sterling's ouster and its investigation of the owner's federal suit against the league.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) August 12, 2014
Also, NBA seeks enforcement of agreements indemnifying league against losses and litigation in the Sterling matter.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) August 12, 2014
The news follows sale of the Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer becoming official on Tuesday, per the team's website:
The Los Angeles Clippers today announced that the transaction in which Steve Ballmer purchased the Los Angeles Clippers closed today following the entry of an order by a California court confirming the authority of Shelly Sterling, on behalf of the Sterling Family Trust, to sell the team.
The NBA Board of Governors previously approved the sale and Mr. Ballmer is now the Clippers Governor.
Rachel Nichols of CNN passed along Ballmer's statement:
With the Donald Sterling era officially over, new Clippers owner Steve Ballmer releases this statement: pic.twitter.com/ysmcQmmMxn— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) August 12, 2014
The battle between the NBA and Sterling has been a long, drawn-out affair.
On April 29, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling from the league for life and fined him $2.5 million after racially insensitive remarks he made surfaced on the Internet. Sterling didn't go down without a fight, resisting the league's attempts to sell the team to Ballmer and protesting his wife's ability to sell the team without his consent.
He filed several lawsuits, including a federal lawsuit seeking $1 billion from the NBA, and also asked for an injunction in a separate lawsuit to prevent the sale of the team, though that effort was rebuffed.
Now, the NBA has answered with a lawsuit of its own.
Sterling may no longer legally be the owner of the Clippers, but it appears he won't be coming off the warpath anytime soon. It's important to note, however, that any potential damages Sterling could be awarded going forward will be solely monetary rewards and will not result in him regaining his ownership of the team.
For the Clippers, the day's events offer the organization, its players and coaches the chance to move on from a dark moment in their history. The NBA and Sterling may have unsettled business, but the Clippers as an organization can now look forward.