7:49pm: Shelburne clarifies, via Twitter, that her sources have indicated that removing Sterling’s ban from the NBA was not part of the deal despite the charges against him being dropped.
5:46pm: Donald Sterling will not pursue any further legal action against the NBA and will agree to the sale of the Clippers to Steve Ballmer, tweets ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne. Maxwell Blecher, Sterling’s lawyer, tells Shelburne that Sterling has agreed to sell and drop the lawsuit against the league and in return the NBA will drop the charges and not sue the former Clippers’ owner for anything (Twitter link). More specifically, David Aldridge of NBA.com is told by Blecher that the decision to drop the $1 billion lawsuit was “part of the broader deal” with the NBA dropping its suit against Sterling (Twitter link).
This news presumably puts an end to a saga that many thought might drag out in court for the foreseeable future. Of course, Sterling was famously banned from the NBA for life by commissioner Adam Silver in April after expressing racially charged statements on a recording. After agreeing to allow his wife, Shelly Sterling, to negotiate the sale of the team, Sterling then issued a statement claiming the league’s attempt to force him out was illegal. Ballmer, the former Microsoft CEO, won the Clippers via a $2 billion bid on May 29th, which resulted in Sterling filing a $1 billion suit against the NBA and his wife at least partly in protest of mental health experts reportedly declaring him mentally incapacitated and, in turn, giving his wife control of the family trust.
As of this morning, the Sterling camp was still considering its options but it sounds like Sterling and the league have come to an agreement to transfer ownership to Ballmer without any further legal complications.