NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Just when you thought the Donald Sterling fiasco couldn’t get any worse, it has.
The lawyers for the disgraced owner of the Los Angeles Clippers said the 80-year-old intends to sue the NBA for $1 billion in the wake of the news that his estranged wife had reached an agreement to sell the team, and that he had been ruled mentally incompetent.
That bombshell came on the heels of a source close to Shelly Sterling telling CBS News she now has sole control of the Clippers because Donald Sterling was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease after being evaluated by two neurologists earlier this month. The source, however, did not provide proof of that, CBS News reported.
On Friday, one of Donald Sterling’s attorneys told CBS News, “the assertion that Donald Sterling lacks mental capacity is absurd.”
These latest revelations followed the stunning announcement Thursday night that Shelly Sterling had signed a binding contract for a sale of the Clippers by The Sterling Family Trust to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion, which would be a record deal if approved by the NBA.
Ballmer “will be a terrific owner,” Shelly Sterling said, “We have worked for 33 years to build the Clippers into a premier NBA franchise. I am confident that Steve will take the team to new levels of success.”
Shelly Sterling’s statement from Thursday night noted that she made the deal “under her authority as the sole trustee of The Sterling Family Trust, which owns the Clippers.” Donald Sterling’s attorneys, however, contend that he is a co-owner and therefore must give his assent for the deal to go through. They also said he wouldn’t be giving it.
“Sterling is not selling the team,” said his attorney, Bobby Samini. “That’s his position. He’s not going to sell.”
The league has planned a hearing Tuesday in New York to consider charges against Donald Sterling for damaging the league with his racist comments. Owners could then vote to terminate his ownership — and Shelly Sterling’s as well, CBS News reported.
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