Clippers owner Donald Sterling vows to 'fight to the bloody end' in battle over team
A lawyer for Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling said that he will "fight to the bloody end" in efforts to keep ownership in the team.
Last week, reports surfaced that Sterling had agreed to let his wife Shelly Sterling sell the team, and even had his lawyers send the NBA a letter on May 22 authorizing the deal.
Shelly Sterling is still working with the NBA to try to sell the team, according to ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne. Sterling reportedly has received at least six serious offers for the team, valued at $575 million by Forbes Magazine earlier this year.
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Donald Sterling's lawyer, Max Blecher, told ESPN on Tuesday that his client "is going to fight to the bloody end" and has effectively "disavowed" the agreement he reached with his wife last week that would allow her to negotiate a sale of the team.
"I don't know what agreement she has with him, but I'm saying to you today, he disavows anything she's doing to sell the team," Blecher said. "He says, 'It's my team, and I'll sell it when and if I get around to it.'"
USA Today published a 32-page response to the NBA from Sterling in which the 80-year-old owner says the league's punishment would cause his family to take an "egregious" tax hit if the team is sold.
Sterling was banned for life by NBA commissioner Adam Silver and fined $2.5 million last month after a recording surfaced in which Sterling can be heard making racially insensitive remarks.
The NBA said it will proceed with a Board of Governors hearing on June 3 to try to rid Sterling of his ownership of the Clippers.
"The NBA Board of Governors will meet on June 3 at 1 p.m. in New York City to hear and vote upon this matter. Should the Board vote to sustain the charge, the Sterlings' interests in the Clippers will be terminated and the team will be sold," the league said.McCANN: Analyzing Donald Sterling's passionate legal response to the NBA