Los Angeles Clippers co-owner Donald Sterling made clear he wasn’t going away Friday, suing the NBA for more than $1 billion for its decision to ban him for life and force him to sell the franchise.
The lawsuit — which was provided to CNN by Sterling’s lawyer and wasn’t unexpected — marks the latest twist in a case that began last month when TMZ posted a recording in which Sterling made a racist comments. It also comes amid fresh questions about the 80-year-old’s mental state, which itself raises the issue of how much control he has or should have with the Clippers.
Among other allegations, Sterling’s camp claims in its lawsuit that the recording that spawned this scandal — and that recording, it says, is the sole base of the NBA charges against him — is against California law and that Sterling never violated the NBA’s constitution.
The lawsuit also states that “the forced sale of the Los Angeles Clippers threatens not only to produce a lower price than a non-forced sale, but more importantly, it injures competition and forces antitrust injury by making the … market unresponsive to … the operation of the free market.”
“(Sterling believes) that the NBA’s forced sale … would create damages of at least $1 billion, which includes capital gains taxes, unnecessary and increased investment-banking fees, legal and transactional costs, and the loss of all future appreciation in the Los Angeles Clippers franchise value,” it adds.
The filing in a federal court in California comes a day after Sterling’s estranged wife, Shelly, agreed to sell the Clippers to ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.
It also comes days before an anticipated meeting of the NBA Board of Governors that was set to include a vote that could have forced the Sterlings to give up that team.
Source: CNN | Brian Todd and Greg Botelho