Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer appears poised to become the next owner of the Clippers after brokering a deal to buy the club for $2 million, but banned owner Donald Sterling still casts a shadow over the franchise. Here’s the latest:
- Donald Sterling’s primary motivation, should he continue to fight the sale, would have to do with his reputation, as Maxwell Blecher, one of his attorneys, tells James Rainey and Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times. “He doesn’t want to die and have his tombstone say, ‘Here lies a mental incompetent and a racist,’” Blecher said. “He is trying to do the best he can to see whether those stigmas can be eliminated or at least reduced. … That is what this is about.”
- Sterling would prefer to come to settlement with his wife rather than sue her, Blecher tells the Times reporters. Rainey and Fenno believe Blecher implied that Sterling might be willing to OK the deal to sell the team to Ballmer, but only under certain conditions. Sterling wants his wife to withdraw statements from neurologists asserting that he’s mentally incapacitated and restore his power within the family trust, according to Rainey and Fenno. Shelly Sterling reportedly acted as the sole trustee when she negotiated the sale of the Clippers.
- Another move Sterling is apparently thinking about involves challenging the indemnification that would reportedly make the family trust liable for any damages in a suit he filed against the league, Rainey and Fenno write.
- Sterling seemed less willing to put up a legal fight in an interview with Fred Roggin of NBC4 in Los Angeles, saying he’s ready to “move on.” “I feel fabulous, I feel very good. Everything is just the way it should be, really. It may have worked out differently, but it’s good. It’s all good,” Sterling said.