Donald Sterling has agreed to go along with the $2-billion sale of the Clippers negotiated by his wife, Shelly, in an agreement that will also lead the NBA to drop its administrative charges against the longtime team owners, Sterling’s attorney said Wednesday afternoon.
As recently as Tuesday, attorney Max Blecher said Sterling was considering suing his wife to contest her takeover of the family trust that controls the franchise. But Sterling suggested in an interview with NBC4 later Tuesday that he might agree to let the record-setting sale go through.
Sterling will agree to drop his $1-billion antitrust lawsuit against the NBA and the league in turn will agree not to file any lawsuits against Sterling and to drop the charges it levied against him for racially inflammatory remarks made by the Clippers owner that were posted online in late April.
A nearly six-week battle over the allegations and the future of the Clippers came to an apparent end last week, when former Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer bid $2 billion for the team, nearly four times the previous high price for an NBA franchise. The tech billionaire hoped to close the deal as early as next month, though it remained unclear until Wednesday whether Sterling, 80, would sign off on the deal.
Shelly Sterling, 79, had said that she assumed sole control of the Clippers after two neurologists determined that her husband was not mentally capable of handling his own business affairs.
Blecher had vehemently disputed that characterization and said he might go to court to fight for Donald Sterling’s right to continue as controlling owner of the franchise.