It's not a secret that Clippers-owner-for-now Donald Sterling has a litigious past. He's been involved in a littany of lawsuits over the past three decades and with the NBA Board of Governors poised to vote to force a sale of his team, which he says he has no intention of selling, many are bracing for news that Sterling will sue.
A lawyer who has faced Sterling in court before gave a pretty good description of Sterling to USA Today, but there's also reason to believe he'll fail in his effort:
The NBA's constitution and bylaws lay out a speedy resolution for termination of ownership, but that does not take into account the possibility that Donald Sterling drags the league into a long court battle over Commissioner Adam Silver's decision to attempt to force him to sell the Los Angeles Clippers.
At least one person who has battled Sterling in court — lawyer Carl E. D
ouglas — thinks that's exactly what will happen, and the NBA is prepared for that."Donald Sterling is a surly, defiant, tyrannical rich guy who is a bully and used to having his way," Douglas said.
"While a tactical antitrust suit is certainly possible, it should fail," (antitrust attorney Jeffrey I. Shinder) said. "Sterling will be hard-pressed to show injury to competition as opposed to his own self-inflicted injuries. The repugnance of his conduct and its potential harm to the league and to the Clippers would easily support the NBA's defense of such a suit."
Sterling may sue just to give himself a chance, just to stick it to the other owners, just because he can. The NBA won't want this to drag on, but at the same time, if that was truly a priority for them, Adam Silver wouldn't have gone nuclear with the lifetime ban and fine of Sterling.
At least initially, the NBA's response to the idea that Sterling could sue is "Bring it on."