“The NBA continues to thrive and exact its reign of terror in large part from the money it receives from the Fans. The NBA is a band of hypocrites and bullies. They will not stop until someone stands up. They have taken the liberty to desecrate my privacy rights and my right to own property. I have no doubt that they will continue to find new ways to violate my rights and the rights of any person in order to draw attention away from their discriminatory and repulsive conduct.
We have to fight for the rights of all Americans. We have to fight these despicable monsters. THIS IS THE REASON I WILL NOT SELL MY TEAM.”
—Donald Sterling in a statement as to why he is suing to prevent the team’s $2.1 billion to Steve Balmer
In Sterling’s statement he mentions the NBA’s own discriminatory policies that have resulted in lawsuits against the league. One of those, of course, was Elgin Baylor’s suit against Sterling and the Clippers (another was a suit involving the Knicks . . . I cannot think of any others that were made public, but it is all a matter of public record).
Sterling continues to trot out the line that the NBA is violating his free speech rights and his property rights. He is, of course, a little misguided in his analysis. He was free to say what he said, but not free from the consequences. So long as the NBA followed its internal procedures, they are free to revoke his license.
Sterling was deemed incapacitated due to mental illness allowing his wife Shelly to sell the team on behalf of the Sterling Family Trust. It will be hard to convince a judge that $2.1 billion is not just compensation and overturn the sale.
Any moment now, Sterling might change his mind again and drop this suit.