The owner of the Los Angeles Clippers is sending mixed signals about whether he is or is not going to sell the team. Donald Sterling has released his official response to the 2.5 million dollar fine, and the NBA’s desire to revoke his ownership of the basketball team. The thirty-two page document, obtained by USA Today, states that Sterling does not believe the NBA has a right to take the team he owns, and he will not allow them to do so.
The document is well written and heavily supported by the fact that illegal recordings may not be used in court, but is law enough to topple moral sentiment? It was said that some players considered boycotting playoff games, refused to talk to Sterling, and even considered leaving the team, at least if the Sterling’s were still in control. Teams including the Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, and Cleveland Cavaliers are in full support of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s decision. In a sport that has had its share of racist moments, it is no shock that many players and their teams take Sterling’s words personally.
Less than a week ago undisclosed sources revealed that Sterling had decided to give up control of the team, and render control of its sale to his wife, Shelly Sterling. Yesterday, in his answer to the Charge, he stated that he is not going to sell the team. Today, reports state that Sterling said he does not support anything Shelly is attempting to do, which is to sell the team, but TMZ claims to have a letter, signed by Sterling, which gives control of the sale to Shelly.
In the letter, which was received about a week ago, Sterling’s lawyer states:
“As you know, I have been a long-time attorney for Donald T. Sterling. Mr. Sterling agrees to the sale of his interest in the Los Angeles Clippers.”
The letter goes on: “This letter confirms that Donald T. Sterling authorizes Rochelle Sterling to negotiate with the National Basketball Association regarding all issues in connection with a sale of the Los Angeles Clippers team, owned by LAC Basketball Club, Inc.”
The letter is said to have been signed by Sterling.
Sterling’s lawyer reports that there have been offers of up to $2.5 billion for the team.
The NBA Board of Governors is scheduled to meet June 3 at 1 p.m. in New York to discuss this issue, says NBA vice president Mike Bass.