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Donald Sterling’s not done yet, files answer to NBA’s counterclaim

Donald Sterling
Donald Sterling is back in the news again.
(Robyn Beck / AFP/Getty Images)

Donald Sterling no longer owns the Clippers, but he’s not done battling the NBA.

Late Tuesday, attorneys for the former owner filed a blistering 11-page answer to the NBA’s counterclaim against him in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

The document repeated many of the arguments -- and included much of the vitriol -- Sterling used in his original antitrust lawsuit filed against the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver in May.

Sterling maintained that his taped remarks about blacks to companion V. Stiviano that became public in April were recorded illegally and the NBA’s reliance on them violated his California constitutional rights.

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“Sterling has been banned for life … issued the largest fine in the history of the NBA, and stripped of his ownership of an NBA team, for a purely private conversation that he did not know was being recorded and that he never intended would see the light of day,” the answer said. “A preposterous proposition.”

The answer blamed the sale of the Clippers to Steve Ballmer for $2 billion on the “reckless actions” of the defendants.

The NBA’s counterclaim, filed in August, asserted that Sterling caused “devastating and incalculable harm” to the league.

In response, Sterling notes the same examples of speech-related conduct and punishments of NBA owners and players used in his original lawsuit. Atlanta Hawks owner Bruce Levenson’s racially charged email that led to his announcement Sunday that he’ll sell his stake in the franchise isn’t mentioned.

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A scheduling conference in Sterling’s case is set for next month.

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