Doctors declared billionaire mentally incapable of running the Clippers' organization, lawyer disputes claim.
Embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, making him legally incapable of controlling the team, TMZ is reporting.
A stipulation in the L.A. native's family trust purportedly led to the diagnoses. The agreement requires that Donald Sterling or his wife, Shelly Sterling, be stripped of team ownership if either displayed "an ability to conduct business affairs in a reasonable and normal manner." Two doctors have to sign off on the medical determination, sources say.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver forced the billionaire to sell, and inflicted a lifetime NBA ban on him for making racists comments on tape.
Sometime in May, Donald Sterling underwent two extensive examinations including CT brain scans and PET scans, which measure body function likes metabolism, blood flow and oxygen use. Doctors concluded that the 80-year-old has had the neurological disease for as many as five years.
His attorney, Max Blecher, said that the test results have been "grossly exaggerated," and were more along the lines of "modest mental impairment," as opposed to Alzheimer's.
Donald Sterling's mental capacity could affect the Clippers' transfer. As stated in the trust documents, Shelly Sterling is legally allowed control of the Clippers in the event that her husband is unable to fulfill his duties. However, he could appeal the doctors' ruling in court, but doing so may upset his wife. "He doesn't want to fight with Shelly. That's the bottom line," Blecher said, adding that his client is overlooking the "whole situation" regarding the Clippers' sale.
Earlier today (May 30) Shelly Sterling confirmed that ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer put in a $2 billion winning bid to purchase the team.
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(Photo: Danny Moloshok/AP Photo, File)