Banned Los Angeles Clippers owner says NBA's case is illegal and disavows wife trying to sell franchise.
It doesn’t seem like the Sterlings are on the same page at all.
On the same day that it was widely reported that Shelly Sterling was attempting to move forward with the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers, her estranged husband, Donald Sterling, is saying not so fast.
The banned NBA owner's lawyer, Max Blecher, told ESPN on Tuesday that his client "is going to fight to the bloody end.” In addition, Blecher says that Sterling has “disavowed” the agreement struck with his wife last week that would allow her to negotiate the sale of the Clippers.
"I don't know what agreement she has with him, but I'm saying to you [Tuesday], he disavows anything she's doing to sell the team," Blecher said. "He says, 'It's my team, and I'll sell it when and if I get around to it.'"
This is a sharp 180-degree turn from last Friday’s news of Sterling ordering his wife to negotiate the sale of the Clippers and Tuesday’s news of Shelly Sterling reportedly meeting with ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer about selling the franchise.
In addition, TMZ reported Wednesday that despite Sterling’s sudden change of feelings, he mandated that his attorney write a letter to NBA commissioner Adam Silver last week to authorize his wife to control the sale of the Clippers.
"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 reads according to TMZ.
In addition, the celebrity news website claimed that Shelly Sterling was open to fielding more offers for the Clippers throughout this week after meeting with Ballmer.
Still, Blecher’s claims Sterling developed a change of heart and believes the NBA doesn't have a case against him since the racist remarks he made against African Americans were recorded and released unbeknownst to him.
"I believe what they've done is illegal and it will not hold up in court," Blecher told ESPN about the NBA’s planned removal of Sterling. "I believe what they're doing is a blatant invasion of his constitutional rights because they're using a tape recording that he did not consent to, and under California law, that recording cannot be used for any purpose, for any proceeding. So if the basis of their case is illegal evidence, they don't have much of a case. ...The whole thing is a pile of garbage."
The NBA will hold a hearing about Sterling on June 3rd in New York City, after which the league’s owners will vote. If three-fourths of NBA owners vote against Sterling, he will be forced to sell the team.
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