Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is proceeding with a $1 billion lawsuit against the NBA over the sale of the team, his lawyer told Dan Woike of the Orange County Register.
Last week, Sterling agreed to drop the lawsuit and move forward with the sale of the team, which former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer agreed to purchase for $2 billion. Sterling's attorney Maxwell Blecher later told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne that "the deal is off," and Sterling is no longer willing to allow the sale of the team to go forward.
Blecher emailed the The Wall Street Journal earlier Monday saying he thought the league's imposed $2.5 million fine and lifetime ban would go away once the sale of the team was finalized, but that idea was rebuffed by the NBA.
"There is absolutely no possibility that the lifetime ban will be rescinded or that the fine will be changed in any way," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said.
According to the report, Blecher said Sterling was "ruminating" about the future of the lawsuit and "no decision has yet been made," but on Monday he told the Orange County Register the lawsuit was going forward "full steam ahead."
The NBA reiterated there was never a discussion in modifying Sterling's penalty and "any suggestion otherwise is complete fabrication."
More from the Wall Street Journal:
Blecher said that agreement was "based on an understanding which the NBA acknowledges was reasonable" that Sterling's lifetime ban and $2.5 million fine would be rescinded.
When asked if he had a response to what Silver said Sunday, Blecher said: "I read his 'comments.' He must know something I don't."
Blecher said the league's refusal to lessen the punishments against Sterling is the motivating factor in continuing with the lawsuit, and Silver's insistence on leveling the maximum penalty against his client was "just plain nasty."
Donald Sterling's lawyer Maxwell Blecher tells OCR that Donald Sterling will not being dropping lawsuit against NBA. "Full steam ahead."
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) June 9, 2014
The attorney for Donald Sterling, Max Blecher, says in an email, "the deal is off" and he's been instructed by DTS to pursue lawsuit vs NBA
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) June 10, 2014
Main reason Donald Sterling has decided to fight: Adam Silver's adamancy when it comes to Sterling. "Just plain nasty" per Blecher.
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) June 10, 2014
Other reason, which is related, is league's refusal to rescind lifetime ban or $2.5 million fine. — Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) June 10, 2014