Sterling: Clippers Sale Is Off

'I must fight to protect my rights,' he says

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 10, 2014 12:33 AM CDT

(Newser) – Looks like Donald Sterling has decided he wants a fight after all. The $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers he agreed to last week is off and his $1 billion lawsuit against the NBA is back on, Sterling's lawyer tells ESPN. "I have decided that I must fight to protect my rights," Sterling said in a letter yesterday. "While my position may not be popular, I believe that my rights to privacy and the preservation of my rights to due process should not be trampled." His lawyer declined to comment on whether the U-turn was the result of the NBA refusing to drop the lifetime ban and $2.5 million fine it levied over racist remarks made by the owner.

After first agreeing to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Sterling said he was ready to move on and felt "fabulous," but in yesterday's letter, he said he never wanted to sell the team and the NBA's actions constitute "a violation of my rights and fly in the face of the freedoms that are afforded to all Americans." Sterling's wife, Shelly, finalized the sale as sole trustee after Sterling was declared mentally unfit, and insiders say the owner's erratic stance on selling the team could be presented in court as further evidence of unfitness, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Sterling has unsold his club several times over the years, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver noted during an interview yesterday.
Sterling has "unsold his club several times over the years," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver noted during an interview yesterday.   (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling gestures while watching the Clippers play the Los Angeles Lakers during an NBA preseason basketball game.
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling gestures while watching the Clippers play the Los Angeles Lakers during an NBA preseason basketball game.   (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok, File)
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