News

Sterling agrees to Clippers sale, will drop lawsuit

Sterling agrees to Clippers sale, will drop lawsuit

CLIPPERS CONTROVERSY: Donald Sterling, 80, sued the league and commissioner Adam Silver for at least $1 billion in damages last week at the same time as the NBA tentatively approved a deal his estranged wife had struck to sell the franchise to former Microsoft Corp chief executive Steve Ballmer for an NBA record price of $2 billion. Photo: Associated Press

By Eric Kelsey

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has agreed to sell the team for $2 billion and will drop his lawsuit against the National Basketball Association, his lawyer Maxwell Blecher said on Wednesday, five weeks after taped racist remarks Sterling made caused the NBA to ban him for life.

Sterling, 80, sued the league and commissioner Adam Silver for at least $1 billion in damages last week at the same time as the NBA tentatively approved a deal his estranged wife had struck to sell the franchise to former Microsoft Corp chief executive Steve Ballmer for an NBA record price of $2 billion.

Sterling, who has owned the Clippers for 33 years, brought shame on the league and delivered the first crisis of Silver’s tenure, which began in February.

Silver banished Sterling and fined him $2.5 million for the comments after the taped racist remarks were leaked to the media in April while the Clippers were playing in the NBA playoffs.

The comments caused sponsors to sever ties with the team and players considered a boycott.

Sterling has said that his remarks to a “lover” about not being photographed with black people or bringing them to Clippers games were a part of a jealous quarrel that was illegally recorded under California law.

Most of the players in the NBA are black.

In the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Sterling accuses the NBA and Silver of breach of contract, antitrust violations, among others.

The NBA and Sterling’s wife, Shelly Sterling, agreed last week at the time the lawsuit was filed that neither she nor the trust that owns the team would sue the league.

The lawsuit was filed at the same time as the NBA tentatively agreed to the Clippers sale and as part of the deal, wife Shelly Sterling agreed that neither she nor the trust that owns the team would sue the league.

Sterling, who co-owns the team with Shelly Sterling, also listed the Sterling Family Trust as a plaintiff in the suit against the NBA.

As a result of the sale to Ballmer, the league also canceled a hearing scheduled for Tuesday that would have asked NBA owners to terminate Sterling’s ownership.

Shelly Sterling is now sole trustee of the family trust that controls the Clippers after physicians last month deemed that her husband has Alzheimer’s disease.

Blecher at the time said Sterling was diagnosed with a “modest mental impairment.”

NBA owners must still give the Clippers sale final approval.

Ballmer, who retired from the Seattle-based software company in February, outbid two groups for the team, one led by media mogul David Geffen that included Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and TV personality Oprah Winfrey.

(Editing by Sandra Maler)

Recent Headlines

in Local Sports

USC to be in ‘good frame of mind’ vs. Cougars

Fresh
Southern California head coach Steve Sarkisian takes questions at the Pac-12 NCAA college football media days at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, Wednesday, July 23, 2014.

After a frustrating loss last weekend, USC coach Steve Sarkisian expects his players to display their resilience come Saturday's matchup with Washington State. 1:30pm on KPUG 1170AM.

in Local Sports

Chancellor, Okung to be game-time decisions

Seattle Seahawks strong safety Kam Chancellor (31) celebrates a hit on St. Louis Rams' Stedman Bailey in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013, in Seattle.

The Seattle Seahawks could be without starting safety Kam Chancellor and left tackle Russell Okung for Sunday's game against the Oakland Raiders.

in Local Sports

Raiders may be without starting CB Carlos Rogers

Oakland Raiders assistant head coach Tony Sparano looks on before an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J.

Interim coach Tony Sparano said the Raiders are expected to be without cornerback Carlos Rogers for Sunday's game against the Seahawks.

in Local Sports

AP Source: Warriors, Thompson agree to extension

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson, right, puts p a shot as Los Angeles Clippers forward Matt Barnes defends during the first half in Game 1 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series, Saturday, April 19, 2014, in Los Angeles.

A person with knowledge of the deal says Golden State Warrior and former WSU Cougar, Klay Thompson has agreed to a four-year contract extension worth about $70 million.

in Local Sports

Bellingham Blazers hit the road this weekend

bellingham blazers logo with text

The Blazers are 9-2 on the season