Donald Sterling, who has been banned by the NBA and fined $2.5 million, has changed his mind and will proceed with a lawsuit against his wife, Shelly Sterling, and the league, his attorney told the media on Monday. Sterling had previously threatened to sue the league and his wife to prevent the sale of the Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
Shelly Sterling took control of the Sterling Family Trust, which owns the Clippers, in the past month due to a reported declaration by doctors that Sterling was "mentally incapacitated." Following that and Ballmer's $2 billion bid, the NBA and Shelly Sterling announced a settlement in which the Sterling Family Trust would provide indemnity for the league in the case of any suit by Sterling. That means that if Sterling sues the league and wins, any penalty paid to him would be covered by the Sterling Family Trust. Which is Donald and Shelly Sterling's money.
Sterling and the Clippers
Last week, Sterling announced he would not pursue the lawsuit, clearing the way for the sale of the club. Had he done so, he would have walked away with loads of cash and notoriety. But on Monday, Sterling's lawyer, Max Blecher, announced that the suit would go "full steam ahead."
Why? Apparently, a Monday leak showing that Shelly Sterling may still have a small role in the Clippers organization while Donald Sterling remains banned for life has rubbed the outgoing owner the wrong way. There's also the matter of personal animus.
Main reason Donald Sterling has decided to fight: Adam Silver's adamancy when it comes to Sterling. "Just plain nasty" per Blecher.— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) June 10, 2014
So basically, in the end, Donald Sterling is choosing to sue himself on principle. Good show, buddy.
UPDATE: Sterling released a statement. Ramona Shelburne was kind enough to share it on Twitter. Here the whole thing is in a digestable macro.