Los Angles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is planning to file an antitrust lawsuit against the NBA for damages in excess of $1 billion, according to a report from Tim Stelloh of NBC News. The reports of a lawsuit come a day after Shelly Sterling reached an agreement to sell the franchise to Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.
The purpose of the lawsuit is to recover money Sterling believes the league cost him through the lifetime ban and $2.5 million fine. There may be another lawsuit coming against Shelly Sterling that will attempt to block the sale.
Blecker tells Yahoo that Sterling is "looking ... separately" at possible legal action to stop sale agreement of Clippers to Steve Ballmer.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 30, 2014
NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned Donald Sterling from the NBA in late April after racist audio recordings of Sterling surfaced. Sterling has since gone back-and-forth on whether he would agree to sell the team. His attorney sent a letter to the NBA threatening to sue the league over what he called "illegal" actions to force him to sell. While Sterling initially gave his wife Shelly permission to sell the team, he later changed his mind. Meanwhile, Shelly Sterling's lawyers suggested that Donald was found to be "mentally incapacitated," giving her the right to sell the team without his permission. Donald Sterling's lawyers denied that charge.
Other lawsuits may be on the way. Michael McCann of Sports Illustrated wrote Shelly Sterling could file a lawsuit against Donald on behalf of the trust.
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The long-term impact and ultimate result of the lawsuit remains to be seen, but the immediate impact could delay Ballmer from buying the team. The NBA Board of Governors is scheduled to meet on June 3 to vote on whether they should strip the Sterling family's ownership of the franchise. The league currently plans to have that meeting on schedule unless they receive paperwork making the sale to Ballmer official.