Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was set to purchase the team for $2 billion — a figure negotiated by his wife Shelly Sterling — before Sterling’s announcement on Monday.
“We have been instructed to prosecute the lawsuit,” said attorney Maxwell Blecher. He said co-owner Donald Sterling would not be signing off on the deal to sell.
Donald Sterling issued a one-page statement dated Monday titled “The Team is not for Sale” and said that “from the onset, I did not want to sell the Los Angeles Clippers.”
The lawsuit alleges the league violated his constitutional rights by relying on information from an “illegal” recording that publicized racist remarks he made to a girlfriend. It also said the league committed a breach of contract by fining Sterling $2.5 million and that it violated antitrust laws by trying to force a sale.
“I have decided that I must fight to protect my rights,” Donald Sterling said. “While my position may not be popular, I believe that my rights to privacy and the preservation of my rights to due process should not be trampled. I love the team and have dedicated 33 years of my life to the organization. I intend to fight to keep the team.”
It was only last week that Sterling had agreed to the deal while also agreeing to drop the lawsuit against the NBA. But after learning the NBA wouldn’t revoke its lifetime ban and fine, Sterling backed out.
“There was never a discussion involving the NBA in which we would modify Mr. Sterling’s penalty in any way whatsoever. Any suggestion otherwise is complete fabrication,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said.
So, about that report that Sterling is suffering from Alzheimer’s? We’re just going to conclude that stubbornness is the cause of this back-and-forth.
We’ll keep you updated with the latest in the Sterling saga.
SOURCE: USA Today | PHOTO CREDIT: Splash
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