As Trial Nears, Donald Sterling Fighting From Behind

In this Dec. 19, 2011 file photo, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling watches the Clippers play the Los Angeles Lakers during an NBA preseason basketball game in Los Angeles. Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling responded to the NBA's attempt to oust him on Tuesday, May 27, 2014, arguing that there is no basis for stripping him of his team because his racist statements were illegally recorded "during an inflamed lovers' quarrel in which he was clearly distraught." (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok, File)
In this Nov. 7, 2012 file photo, Los Angeles Clippers owners Donald Sterling and his wife, Shelly, obscured at right, watch the Clippers play the San Antonio Spurs during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles. Sterling's team of lawyers has hired four private investigation firms to dig up dirt on the NBA's former and current commissioners and its 29 other owners, said a person familiar with Sterling's legal strategy. Investigators were given a six-figure budget over the next 30 days to examine the league's finances, allegations of previous discriminatory conduct and compensation to past Commissioner David Stern and current Commissioner Adam Silver, said the person who spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday night , June 12, 2014, on condition of anonymity. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)
Nov. 7, 2012 file photo, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

 

LOS ANGELES (Forbes) — That much-ballyhooed $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to Steve Ballmer still isn’t a done deal.

NBA execs expressed confidence back in April that they had a strong case to force a sale by Donald Sterling based on recorded racist remarks he made to his girlfriend, remarks that allegedly violated a morals clause in the league’s by-laws. But the whole saga has taken a different course since then, away from action by the NBA and toward a battle between Sterling and his wife Shelly for control of the family trust that owns the Clippers.

Shelly managed to convince Donald to agree to an examination by a pair of doctors, whose findings claimed Donald to be mentally incapacitated, leaving Shelly in control to negotiate the sale to Ballmer. Donald, though, is challenging the findings – his lawyers claiming incomplete testing and exaggerated results.

 

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