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Donald Sterling Suing NBA, Commissioner, and Wife for Damages

The NBA had hoped to be done with Donald Sterling fairly quick back when it handed down a punishment to the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.

So much for that. Not only is the embattled owner not going anywhere anytime soon, but it is starting to appear as if he might still be in control of the team when the 2014-15 season starts.



With the probate case involving whether Sterling’s wife had the right to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer yet to be decided Sterling has decided to give the NBA, his wife, and Adam Silver (NBA commissioner) something else to worry about. He is suing all three for damages because they (allegedly) defrauded him and violated corporate law in attempting to sell the Clippers.

The argument his legal team is bringing is that neither Donald or Shelly could legally sell the team, but that the corporation LAC Basketball Club Inc. is the only entity that can (via ESPN):

“When Donald bought the team, the shares of the corporation are only in Donald’s name. They were only issued to Donald, so Donald owns the shares of the corporation. He’s the sole shareholder. He put the shares up into the trust in 1989, and when we revoked the trust, the shares go back down to him.”

The NBA has not commented, but Shelly Sterling’s lawyers have calling it “a frivolous, last-ditch act of desperation by a delusional, bitter man” who is “obsessed with ruining a record-setting $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers — a sale that would solve the problems his racist rant started three months ago.”

All the legal action is now giving some reason to think/fear that the whole mess could still be ongoing when the next season starts–which could create a whoole new problem. Head coach Doc Rivers has said that he will not coach the team if Sterling is still the owner.


About Travis Pulver

  • Pastor Burt Wilkins

    The concern for what Donald Sterling might do next is highly overstated. Donald Sterling can appeal, which is why the Judge is moving so slow and carefully to make sure he has little or no grounds upon which to make that appeal. Secondly, the NBA has stated that if the Probate Court approves the sale, then the NBA will certify the sale to Mr. Ballmer. Appealing the judge’s ruling will not stop the sale. When the NBA gives approval to the sale and it will, Ballmer is going to write a $2 billion check and give it to whom? Think about this. Ballmer is going to make out that check to the Sterling Family Trust and give that money NOT to Donald Sterling, but to Shelly Sterling, the only remaining trustee.

    Right now, Donald Sterling is facing a very big squeeze, because that very nice but determined wife of his is not going to give him even one dime of that money while he continues to act outrageously to anybody. Meanwhile because Donald Sterling canceled the Family Trust, he is RIGHT NOW in DEFAULT for half a billion dollars in loans made to his trust that no longer exists. Every day this matter is not settled brings Donald Sterling closer and closer to insolvency. Where does Donald Sterling, a fellow with mental impairment, go to get half a billion dollars to satisfy those banks right now? No one with money is going to give him money today or a month or two months from now, because everybody knows that with each passing day Donald Sterling has to lower his price to avoid loosing everything.

    So if you think Donald Sterling is going to appeal this court decision, think again. If he did file an Appeal or file a suit against the NBA he would almost immediately withdraw all of those actions. Suing the NBA would take seven years, so by the time it ever came to trial Donald Sterling will either be in the grave or sitting in a wheel chair staring into space brain dead with Alzheimer’s disease. Donald Sterling has had his last hurrah. More likely Shelly Sterling is going to take him to court again, have him declared incompetent, and have the court appoint her conservator with power of attorney over the remainder of his affairs. (This will happen. It is only a matter of time.) If you think Donald Sterling doesn’t know what is happening to his fortune, why was he proposing settlement at his home on Tuesday with Ballmer, Shelly, and the attorneys for both sides all in attendance? Suing everybody costs money, so where will Donald Sterling get that money when the banks are at the same time demanding half a billion dollars from him?

    Think about it. This week should have been Donald Sterling’s time to put forth a brilliant defense, and answer all the plaintiffs’ complaints. Instead, the Defense has called no witnesses, and has been merely destroyed all the more by every single other witness that has come forth to testified at the trial. If you are rooting for Donald Sterling, you have to ask the reasonable question: “When is the guy going to start winning, because up to now every day has been an absolute loss?”

    Donald Sterling’s own attorneys have already told him that the judge is going to rule against him in this case. My opinion is that I don’t think this case has much life left in it. 95% of all trials settle before the Judge gets to rule. The Judge MAY get the opportunity to rule if Donald doesn’t settle, and if the judge does rule it will be for Shelly Sterling. Right now it is almost more likely that Donald Sterling will certify the Clippers sales before July 28th because he has to make peace with Shelly. If he doesn’t make peace with his wife, Donald Sterling, the billionaire, will actually go bankrupt while Shelly Sterling sits on the entire two billion dollars from the sale of the Clippers waiting for husband, Donald Sterling to become more reasonable.

  • Pastor Burt Wilkins

    Wednesday, July 23rd, finally today Donald Sterling did something right in probate court. His attorney’s actually brought in a respected Alzheimer’s and dementia doctor, Dr. Jeffrey Cummings who testified as an expert that the evaluations done by the Plaintiff’s two doctors were improperly done because Shelly Sterling was in the examining room during those examinations.

    The question thus arises after a week of failure is this right move by the Defense to little and to late? The Doctor speculated in his opinion that having the wife in the room would have been a distraction, precluding concentration. To the contrary, doctors as a common practice invite spouses in while the other spouse is being examined to otherwise reassure and calm the patient, so that the doctor can better gain the patient’s confidence to enable the doctor to then proceed with the examination.

    The Defense doctor claimed that he was aware that there was tension between the two spouses is simply speculation and not a fact known by the doctor. Prior testimony does not support that Defense doctor’s speculation. At the time of examinations, Shelly Sterling was working for Donald, seeking and being positively encouraged by Donald to sell the Clippers as he had instructed. At that time, he only had words of praise for his wife.

    Is speculation of tension or distraction sufficient to cause the presiding judge to deny the propriety of the Plaintiffs examinations of the Defendant? No supporting evidence or testimony was offered by the Defense. Till now Donald’s stated opinion of his wife has been to date that at one moment she has been for him an angel and then in anger next describes her as a “pig”. Which opinion or neither should the judge accept from Donald Sterling? The scriptures offer this sound advice: (James 1:8 KJV) “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” And further, the scriptures states to such double minded individuals, (James 1:7 KJV) “Let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” Expert witnesses are decisive when testifying as to facts known by them gathered by their own professional observations rather than opinion based on speculation.

    Interestingly, the Defense’s doctor (1) never offered an opinion as to whether Donald Sterling had Alzheimer’s, (2) nor did he offer the results of any clinical tests he may or should have given Donald Sterling as to whether Donald Sterling had Alzheimer’s, or (3) his expert observations of Donald Sterling behavior while in his presence as being consistent or inconsistent with that of a patient that has or has not Alzheimer’s disease. Here you must realize that the Plaintiff’s doctors did testify on all three of these points. After the Doctor Cummings testified, the judge replied, “I don’t see how this witnesses testimony is going to help me in coming to a judgment.” Thus it appears certain that the Defense made a critical if not absolutely fatal error by offering such limited expert testimony. The Defense doctor only questioned the propriety of having the spouse in the room for the examinations, and not the findings of the Plaintiff’s doctors that Donald Sterling has in fact Alzheimer’s. Despite the Defense’s objections, the judge has already ruled that the testimony by the Plantiff’s doctors are admissible. Therefore, the judge will find that based upon the uncontested testimony of all the expert witnesses from both sides presented to the court that Donald Sterling has Alzheimer’s as an uncontested fact, thus justifying Shelly Sterling’s removal of Donald Sterling as trustee.

    The case is now in recess till Monday, when closing arguments by either side will be made. No further testimony or evidence will be accepted by the court from either side. It’s over.

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