Donald Sterling Plans to Sue NBA for $1 Billion in Damages

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 30, 2014

FILE - In this Dec. 19, 2011 file photo, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling watches the Clippers play the Los Angeles Lakers during an NBA preseason basketball game in Los Angeles. Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling responded to the NBA's attempt to oust him on Tuesday, May 27, 2014, arguing that there is no basis for stripping him of his team because his racist statements were illegally recorded
Danny Moloshok/Associated Press

Donald Sterling isn't giving up in his battle against the NBA, with NBC News' Tim Stelloh first reporting that the Los Angeles Clippers owner will sue the league for $1 billion.

Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski confirmed the NBC report after receiving an email from Sterling's attorney Max Blecher:

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:

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:

Wojnarowski also reported that Sterling is still turning over every rock to see if he can prevent Ballmer's purchase of the Clippers:

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:

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:

Sterling has always maintained through his attorney, Blecher, that he would refuse to the sell the Clippers, per Brentย 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."


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