Donald Sterling Throws in the Towel: the Clippers to Steve Ballmer
Donald Sterling decided to withdraw a $1 billion lawsuit against the NBA and agreed to sell the Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. According to an official release, Shelly Sterling in her deal with Ballmer agreed to “indemnify the NBA against lawsuits from others, including Donald Sterling.” On the other hand, Donald Sterling’s lawyer Max Blecher stated that the decision to withdraw came as a result of the NBA’s agreement not to sue Sterling in return.
Sterling’s $1 billion lawsuit against the NBA alleged its decision to impose a lifetime ban and to oust him from the league is a violation of his constitutional rights and breach of fiduciary duty in addition to a violation of anti-trust laws.
Upon the announcement of the $2 billion deal with Ballmer last week, the NBA cancelled its June 3 meeting in which the franchise owners planned to vote to oust Sterling. Further, the NBA dropped its charge against the Sterlings to remove from their ownership of the Clippers.
When the reports of Shelly Sterling striking a deal with Ballmer surfaced, Donald Sterling claimed that he must consent to the deal. In response, Shelly Sterling claimed that her husband is “mentally incapacitated” and that she has the sole authority to sell the team. His lawyer denied the wife’s claim. Interestingly, TMZ.com reported that Donald Sterling was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in May. If the report is accurate, Shelly Sterling is “the sole functional trustee” who does not need her husband’s consent on the deal, according to SI.com.