Last week, it was reported that Donald Sterling was in the process of ceding the Los Angeles Clippers over to his wife Shelly Sterling, who planned to sell the team to Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.
And while it had seemed like the Sterling saga – rife with a decades-long track record of racist behavior – was thankfully coming to a swift end, it now looks like Donald Sterling plans to drag this out as long as possible. Sterling has changed his mind and will refuse to sell the team or withdraw his $1 billion lawsuit against the NBA.
The sale of the team to his wife was done on the basis that Sterling had reportedly been suffering from early symptoms of Alzheimer’s. Without the necessary mental capacity to own the team, control would have gone to Shelly Sterling. Sterling’s lawyer, Bobby Samini, is stating that Sterling is actually of sound mind and that Alzheimer’s stuff is apparently completely made-up:
“Matt I know you’ve spoken to him,” Samini said. “I’ve spent a fair amount of time with Donald Sterling. There is no issue with his mental capacity.”
It should be noted that while Sterling underwent an “extensive neurological exam” voluntarily last month which exposed the supposed early symptoms of Alzheimer’s, he reportedly didn’t approve of Shelly selling the team.
Of course, now that Donald Sterling is reportedly of sound mind, it leads one to wonder how someone could be so despicable while in good mental condition.
With his lawyers now saying that Sterling was in good mental shape when he whined to V. Stiviano about her taking pictures with black people or bringing black people to Clippers games, the Sterling defense will turn its eye to the NBA. Of course, because there’s really no defending what Sterling actually said, his lawyers are going to try to muddy the waters and call the NBA the real discriminators in this case.
“The NBA’s focus is the sale of the team,” said Bobby Samini. “That’s all they’re talking about. I think what’s really important to see here is the bigger issue. The NBA’s got a systemic problem with discriminatory conduct.”
“If you’re going to come after Sterling maybe it’s time for the NBA to take a close reflection on their own conduct,” he said. “They seem to think gender discrimination is OK.”
A billion dollars buys you the “rubber-glue” defense? There are kindergartners who could have come up with that legal strategy.
So, we’re right back where we started. The NBA wants Sterling gone and Sterling isn’t mounting a defense so much as he’s trying to drag down the NBA to his rancid levels. This is going to get ugly before it gets better.