Donald Sterling Sues The NBA. Doc Rivers Likely To Quit, Chis Paul Thinking Of Boycotting If Sterling Owns The Team Next Season
Donald Sterling simply won’t go away. He’s a billionaire who enjoys litigation and is fighting the National Basketball Association tooth and nail to maintain ownership of theL.A. Clippers.
It seemed like a foregone conclusion that the team would be sold to former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer when Sterling’s wife, Shelly, agreed to a $2 billion deal in late May.
However, things haven’t gone smoothly. Although he’s been banned by the league by commissioner Adam Silver after racist audio tapes leaked in April, Sterling continues to put up a battle to hold on to the team he;s owned for 30 years.
Both Shelly and Donald each have a 50% share of The Sterling Family Trust, which owns the team. After being examined by two neurologists in May, Donald was diagnosed with Alzheimers clearing the way for Shelly to legally sell the team without her estranged husband’s approval.
Testimony in a probate court trial in Los Angeles Superior Court between Donald and Shelly ended Thursday, July 24. The case could decide whether or not the sale goes through.
Meanwhile, Donald’s legal team filed a lawsuit to block the sale on Tuesday, July 22.
He accuses the NBA, it’s commissioner and his wife of breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty for attempting to sale the Clippers while he’s still the owner.
“As sole shareholder of LAC, Plaintiff has the right to dispose of, sell, or retain the interest in LAC as he sees fit, irrespective of [Shelly Sterling’s] community property interest,” the lawsuit states.
The longer this drags out the more likely it becomes that coach Doc Rivers will quit the team and Chris Paul, as well as other players might boycott if Donald still owns the team when the new season begins.
Training camp opens in October.
“That’s something me and Doc are both talking about,” Paul said Thursday, via ESPN. “Something has to happen, and something needs to happen soon — sooner rather than later. We’re all going to talk about it. We’re all definitely going to talk about it. Doc, Blake [Griffin], DJ [DeAndre Jordan]. It’s unacceptable.”
TMZ reports that Ballmer has an escape clause in the sale agreement allowing him to back out if Shelly doesn’t have clear authority to sell the team.