Donald Sterling Opts Against Selling LA Clippers

By Community | June 10, 2014

With Donald Steling’s tenure as LA Clippers owner seemingly coming to an end, Sterling has backtracked on earlier comments and decided against selling the NBA franchise. 

Sterling was banned for life by the NBA in April over a leaked recording of racist remarks he made.

Then, on May 30, Sterling sued the NBA and its commissioner, Adam Silver, seeking at least $1 billion in damages, just as the league tentatively approved a deal by his estranged wife, co-owner of the franchise, to sell the club for $2 billion to former Microsoft Corp chief executive Steve Ballmer.

Besides the lifetime ban, Silver also fined Sterling $2.5 million, the league’s maximum penalty.

Sterling’s attorney, Maxwell Blecher, on June 4 told reporters his client had agreed to the sale to Mr Ballmer and had decided to drop his legal action against the NBA.

But Sterling has decided against letting his NBA franchise which he has owned for 33 years. 

In a statement carried by NBC News, Sterling said he had been treated unfairly and must defend his rights to privacy and due process.

“From the onset, I did not want to sell the Los Angeles Clippers. I have worked for 33 years to build the team … I intend to fight to keep the team,” NBC News quoted the 80-year-old Sterling as saying on Monday.

Sterling also said in the statement that he was extremely sorry for the hurtful comments he made in private, and that they were made in anger and jealousy.

But he said he believed Silver “acted in haste by illegally ordering the forced sale of the Clippers,” banning him for life, and imposing the fine.

“The action taken by Adam Silver and the NBA constitutes a violation of my rights and flies in the face of the freedoms that are afforded to all Americans,” Sterling said.

“I have decided that I must fight to protect my rights. 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.”

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