Maxwell M. Blecher, one of Sterling's attorneys, wrote in a letter to the league that Sterling was not paying the fine because it violated Sterling's due process rights and the longtime owner does not deserve "any punishment at all" for his comments disparaging blacks that were made public in an audio recording last month.
An NBA spokesman declined to comment. But a league official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss the matter, acknowledged the NBA had received the letter.
Blecher did not immediately respond to a phone message left by The Times and the Clippers declined to comment.
The deadline for paying the fine had passed this week, according to reports.