Judge says he doubts disgraced former L.A. Clippers owner suffered any injury from team’s sale
Donald Sterling just fouled out in his lawsuit against the NBA.
The disgraced former L.A. Clippers owner suffered defeat in court on Wednesday, after a judge dismissed his $1 billion lawsuit against the National Basketball Association.
Sterling, who received a lifetime ban and a $2.5 million fine from the NBA after a recording of him making racist comments surfaced, asserted that the league violated his constitutional rights by not giving him adequate notice and a chance to be heard regarding the fine and his ban.
In Wednesday’s dismissal of his case, federal judge Fernando M. Olguin said Sterling shot his own argument down on that front.
“Sterling’s own allegations show that he did receive notice and an opportunity to be heard,” the order reads. “Prior to the imposition of the fine and the lifetime ban, the NBA informed Sterling’s attorney, Robert Platt, that ‘Sterling would be afforded every opportunity to be heard and that the NBA would consider any evidence of other materials Mr. Sterling wished to submit.'”
Sterling also claimed that he suffered at least $600 million in damages because the “forced sale” of the team led to a lowered price and exposed him to massive tax liability.
Judge Olguin noted that “the court is skeptical that Sterling suffered any injury at all,” noting that the sale of the Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for a reported $2 billion was “the highest price ever paid for an NBA team.”
In a statement provided to TheWrap, Pierce O’Donnell, attorney for Sterling’s wife Shelly Sterling — also named in the suit as a defendant — said that the dismissal “puts a merciful end to his quixotic litigation campaign.”
“The federal judge’s dismissal of Donald Sterling’s lawsuit against the NBA, his wife Shelly, and two doctors puts a merciful end to his quixotic litigation campaign over the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers for the record-shattering price of $2 billion,” O’Donnell said. “With all of his other lawsuits dismissed, this is the final chapter. Ironically, Donald, in defeat, is the beneficiary of $2 billion, secured by Shelly in her courageous battle in doing the right thing to protect her family and ensure that her beloved team would be sold to a conscientious owner who would take the team to the next level of excellence.”
Earlier this month, Donald and Shelly Sterling’s divorce proceedings were called off, with Donald Sterling’s attorney telling the Los Angeles Times, “Notwithstanding all the difficult events of the last two years, the Sterlings have resolved their differences.”