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The Donald Sterling Controversy Could Be Far From Over

With the pending sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer it would seem that the Donald Sterling controversy is finally over.

@SInow/Twitter

@SInow/Twitter

But that does not appear to be the case.

Donald Sterling’s lawyers have filed a suit against the NBA for $1 billion claiming that the league’s actions are “unconstitutional, in breach of contract, in restraint of trade, in breach of fiduciary duties and … is malicious and oppressive.”

“(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 transaction costs, and the loss of all future appreciation in the Los Angeles Clippers franchise value,” the lawsuit adds (CNN).

Wait–didn’t the league and Shelly Sterling who is in charge of the Sterling Family Trust (that owns the team) agree to squash any and all legal action? Didn’t the league cancel its meeting where a vote would have been taken to officially ban Sterling and force sale of the team? Didn’t Shelly Sterling agree that the Trust would not sue the league?

Yes–but therein lies another legal quandary. Does she actually have the right to come to that kind of agreement? When neurologist declared her husband to be mentally incapacitated due to Alzheimer’s symptoms the answered appeared to be yes, but that may be in question now as well.

According to Sterling’s lawyer reports of his mental condition have been greatly exaggerated and that he has a “modest mental impairment.”

Rumors have been floating around the internet that Donald plans on contesting the sale along with his estranged wife’s control of the Trust. The two had an agreement that if the other ever became mentally incapacitated that the other one would have control over the Trust, but even if he were to win that battle one of his lawyers sent the league a note saying that he agreed to allow Shelly to sell the team.

So–what’s next?

At the time that is hard to say. If Sterling were to allow the sale to go through and not contest anything he stands to make a ton of money off the second largest sale of a sports franchise, but to do that he has to swallow his pride and his anger over what he perceives as an injustice and infringement on his rights.

[CNN]

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