Los Angeles Business Journal

NBA Not Surprised By Sterling Reversal

By Business Journal Staff Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The NBA is poised to take several steps in response to Donald Sterling's reversal on his agreement to allow the sale of the Clippers to proceed, Sports Illustrated reported Tuesday.

First, the league said it is likely to resume treating Sterling as a plaintiff in a federal complaint filed against the league. The league will answer Sterling's complaint by June 23, the date the answer is due in court.

Second, the league will prepare for Sterling to petition for a restraining order to temporarily block the NBA from selling the team to Steve Ballmer, the former Microsoft chief executive who won a bidding war for the team.

Third, the league will continue its review of Ballmer's offer and the NBA’s board will almost certainly approve the offer later this summer.

The NBA was prepared for Sterling to change his mind. Over the weekend, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he did not think that Sterling would honor his pledge.

It had been reported last week that Sterling would drop his lawsuit blocking the sale of the team and the NBA would drop its actions against Sterling. Later, however, the league stated it had made no such agreement.

The drama started in April after Sterling was recorded telling his mistress, V. Stiviano, that he didn’t want her bringing black people to games. The NBA responded by banning the owner for life, fining him $2.5 million and pushing Sterling to sell the team.

Sterling’s wife Shelly then negotiated the sale to Ballmer, after having Donald Sterling declared incompetent to manage the family’s assets.