Shelly Sterling has come to an agreement with billionaire Steve Ballmer to sell ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers and potentially avoid the NBA having to vote for terminating the ownership of the franchise by the Sterling family. While the NBA's Board of Governors is still expecting to hold the vote just to make sure there isn't any stalling by the Sterlings and to make sure Adam Silver's punishment get executed if needed, a voluntary sale of the team was an admitted preferred outcome by the commissioner. That should just about wrap this situation up, right?
Incorrect. Max Blecher, Donald Sterling's attorney, confirmed in an email to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports that Sterling plans to file a $1 billion lawsuit against the NBA. After being banned for life from the NBA and having the process of removal of ownership set in motion, Sterling will not go quietly into the night. He's opting to create further litigation on the matter.
Donald Sterling plans to file a $1 billion lawsuit against the NBA, his attorney Max Blecher confirms in email to Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 30, 2014
This lawsuit would be seeking damages for the punishment levied by Silver.
Considering the NBA's constitution and by-laws that Sterling has agreed to, it seems unlikely he has much ground to stand on. He received this punishment after leaked audio tapes of racist comments were made public and sent a shockwave throughout the NBA during the first round of the NBA Playoffs. Silver acted swiftly and bluntly in immediately attempting to separate Sterling from the league.
Sterling also may be looking to file a separate lawsuit to attempt to block the sale of ownership from Shelly Sterling to Steve Ballmer.
Blecker tells Yahoo that Sterling is "looking ... separately" at possible legal action to stop sale agreement of Clippers to Steve Ballmer.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 30, 2014
This just won't end.