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The battling Sterlings: They're back

Readers were fed up with Donald Sterling before. Now that he's back in the news, what do they think?

Several weeks ago, most of the letters we received on the saga of Donald Sterling and the sale of the L.A. Clippers were from readers who were fed up by The Times' extensive coverage of the story.

Now, with Donald and Shelly Sterling in court fighting over the $2-billion sale of their team (and, consequently, with them back on the front page of The Times), have readers been similarly put off by the coverage? Hardly.

Since the trial began, we've received about a dozen letters on the Sterlings, only one of which expressed a desire never again to read about the couple. Some were sympathetic toward the feuding pair, while several others said the trial was an embarrassing sideshow.

Here are some of their letters.

Jim Bennett of Auburn, Calif., weighs in on Donald Sterling's mental capacity:

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling may not be mentally competent enough to have a role in selling his basketball team to former Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer.

Two doctors who examined Sterling say he is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Anyone who has family experiences with Alzheimer's will agree: The behavior and utterances of the afflicted can be quite upsetting, even scandalous.

Let's say the court rules that Sterling is not competent to sell the team. Should we also reflect back on what ignited this situation (Sterling's offensive remarks) and the probable culprit (Alzheimer's)? Maybe Sterling wasn't competent to speak, or to be heard, in the first place.

Sherman Oaks resident Frances Terrell Lippman says the Sterlings' fortune didn't buy happiness:

As children, we all heard the saying that sticks and stones may break bones but words will never hurt.

Sterling called his wife a pig. Their down-in-the-mud, circus-like display of incredible greed and gluttony is one of stunning proportion and really very sad; they are both pitiful.

This reminds me of another adage: Money doesn't buy happiness. The billionaire Sterlings prove it every time they open their mouths and show just how miserable they are.

Jon Moss of Hermosa Beach tries to make sense of this trial:

Let me get this straight:

The Clippers are owned by a trust, whose trustees are Donald and Shelley Sterling.

The trust provides that if two qualified experts determine either Donald or Shelly Sterling too incompetent to handle his or her affairs, the other one can take sole control of the trust.

Shelly Sterling dutifully obtained the opinions, took control of the trust and sold the team.

Donald Sterling wanted a hearing on his mental competency, but the judge said the agreement was unambiguous and the two opinions complied with its terms. At the same time, he observed that he (the judge) would not have signed such an agreement.

But who actually did sign it? Donald Sterling, who is supposedly incompetent to sign the agreement the court relies on.

Really?

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