Donald Sterling has responded to the NBA charges and has changed his stance on selling the Los Angeles Clippers, now vowing to fight the NBA.
Sterling’s lawyer, Max Blecher, told ESPN that his client “is going to fight to the bloody end.”
This comes less than a week after a TMZ report that Sterling had backed down from the NBA and agreed to allow his estranged wife, Shelly Sterling, to work with the league to sell the team.
However, Blecher said that Sterling has “disavowed” the agreement he previously reached with his wife, noting that Sterling changed his mind because he was “in a state of shock at first,” but is “now recovering and he’s much more feisty.”
Shelly Sterling told ESPN she has a written agreement with her husband to sell the team.
Sterling’s lawyer does not believe the NBA can force Sterling by using what he called illegal evidence. “Under California law, that recording cannot be used for any purpose, for any proceeding,” Blecher told ESPN.
A bigger issue may be capital gains tax. Sterling’s response to the NBA claims he will be forced to pay $US300-500 million in capital gains taxes if forced to sell.
Sterling purchased the team for just $US12.5 million in 1981 and now it is believed that bidding for the team could top $US2 billion.
Sterling may be positioning himself to negotiate a settlement that would help recoup some of those losses although it is hard to imagine that the NBA would want to help make this sale any more profitable than it already will be.
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