Sterling Sues NBA for $1B
Though his wife would have to pay it
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2014 5:31 AM CDT
In this 2010 photo, Shelly Sterling sits with her husband, Donald Sterling, during a game.   (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

(Newser) – The soap opera that is Donald Sterling's ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers seems to be winding down, but not without a few last-minute plot twists. To begin with, Steve Ballmer's $2 billion purchase of the team is now all but a done deal and expected to close next month, the LA Times reports. But that momentum didn't stop Sterling from suing the NBA for $1 billion in damages, alleging that the league illegally wrenched the team from him, reports the Wall Street Journal. Not so, says the league, because wife Shelly had every right to strike a deal with Ballmer on her own once her husband was deemed mentally unfit.

The kicker there is that Shelly Sterling, as part of her to deal to sell the team, indemnified the league against any lawsuits from her husband. Which is to say, she would have to pay that $1 billion in damages herself if by some long shot he wins in court, reports AP. The league, for its part, is brushing of the lawsuit as "entirely baseless." And the final footnote belongs to the Upshot blog of the New York Times, which crunches the numbers to reveal that Donald Sterling would make a return on his investment of 15,900% under the Ballmer deal. Sterling bought the club for $12.5 million in 1981.

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Fred Ricardo
Jun 2, 2014 3:52 PM CDT
Do the dumb Talking Heads in sports even read the comments on Donald Sterling? If they did they would realize their fans are behind Donald and not the Limo Liberals who want to persecute him. This has not gone to court yet and when it dose Donald will win, up to now it is just a left wing dream wish.
Jun 1, 2014 11:40 PM CDT
Who certified Mr. Sterling mentally unfit? The NBA? What medical practitioner or clinical psychologist would not want his/her name rubber-stamped on such a high-profile news item? This is clear cut: gross violations of Mr. Sterling's civil rights and civil liberties. Sorry, he is a bigot but I am not. I am just wondering... when attorneys attempt to reach Sterling, is Shelly causing a bottleneck by informing them that he already has legal representation, but categorically he does not? I dare say, I would only want her involved at a bare minimum in any of my affairs when she can tolerate sitting in close company to another female companion of the close kind to Sterling. When I look at her, all I see is a money magnet. If she has invested in anything, it's cloak riding. Something smells... maybe Shelly is going to divorce Sterling and marry Ballmer (if he's not already married). It's getting thick and hard to stir, isn't it?
May 31, 2014 6:09 PM CDT
Don't want to tell you I told you so , but I predicted this would go down VERY quickly.