Just when you thought the whole Donald Sterling saga was over, the Los Angeles Clippers owner has pulled out of his support for the sale of the team and will go forward with a $1 billion federal lawsuit against the NBA, his attorney said Monday, per the Associated Press.
It looked like pretty much a done deal as of last week that former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer would buy the team, a $2 Billion deal negotiated by Sterling’s wife Shelly.
Donald Sterling issued a one-page statement on Monday: ‘‘The Team is not for Sale’’ and said that ‘‘from the onset, I did not want to sell the Los Angeles Clippers.’’
‘‘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.’’
AP: ‘Donald Sterling had agreed to ink the deal and drop the suit last week assuming ‘‘all their differences had been resolved,’’ his attorneys said. But individuals close to the negotiations who weren’t authorized to speak publicly said he decided to not sign the papers after learning the NBA won’t revoke its lifetime ban and fine. ‘‘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.
Shelly Sterling and her attorney Pierce O’Donnell declined to comment through representatives.’