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article imageDonald Sterling now says he won't sell Clippers but will sue NBA

By Marcus Hondro     Jun 10, 2014 in Sports
It doesn't look like the NBA will be able to turn its back on the Donald Sterling saga just yet. Sterling had indicated he would sell his L.A. Clippers basketball team after the hoopla surrounding racists comments he made but now says he'll sue the NBA.
It had been widely reported he was willing to sell the Clippers and soon, for a price in the $2 billion range to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Not so fast, his attorney Maxwell Blecher said Monday. "We have been instructed to prosecute the lawsuit."
For his part, Sterling said in a statement released Monday that right from the "onset" of the controversy, he did not want to sell. "I have decided that I must fight to protect my rights," he wrote. "While my position may not be popular, I believe that my rights to privacy and the preservation of my rights to due process should not be trampled. I love the team and have dedicated 33 years of my life to the organization. I intend to fight to keep the team."
The 80-year-old Sterling, who bought the team in 1981 and is the league's longest-tenured owner, was roundly condemned for racists remarks made to a female friend, V. Stiviano, who unbeknownst to him made tapes of their conversations. When the tape with racists remarks, made last September, was released on April 25 by TMZ, fans, players and media condemned Sterling.
Among other objectionable remarks on the tape, Sterling told Stiviano that "It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you're associating with black people." He also made remarks that could be construed to be racist about Magic Johnson.
The NBA and commissioner Adam Silver responded by banning Sterling for life and he was fined $2.5 million; while he was unhappy with being penalized it appeared that through his wife Shelly Sterling a deal had been struck to sell his team to Ballmer. But all along Sterling has said the tape was illegally obtained and that the ban and fine constituted a breach of contract.
A sticking point that has caused Sterling to take the lawsuit route instead of selling is a refusal by the NBA to drop the lifetime ban and fine. The NBA said yesterday that at no time did they agree, nor would they agree, to dropping the ban and fine.
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