Sports Illustrated legal expert predicts Donald Sterling will file for temporary injunction

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Donald Sterling, despite his confusingly contradictory legal strategies, faces a vote by NBA owners June 3 on whether or not to remove his ownership.

Sports Illustrated legal expert Michael McCann, appearing on the Dan Patrick Show, explains how he would proceed if he were representing Sterling:

I would seek an injunction prior to June 3rd. I think that’s something to watch out for, that before June 3rd – next Tuesday – it wouldn’t surprise me if Donald Sterling seeks an injunction from a judge that, temporarily at least, stops the NBA from ousting him.

And he would probably seek it in a California court, because his answer cites California privacy law as a leading rationale for the NBA being unable to use a recording that was unlawfully taken and then using it against him.

So, I think that is one step. If his lawyers don’t seek an injunction prior to June 3rd, watch for them to seek it immediately after the vote, preventing the NBA from carrying out the order.

Now, he may not get an injunction. An injunction is considered an extraordinary form of relief.

But that’s one step. If that fails, file a lawsuit.

So what standard must Sterling meet to have a temporary injunction granted? Saint Louis University School of Law:

“traditional” test for determining whether to grant a provisional injunction: 1) likelihood of success on the merits; 2) irreparable harm (which encompasses proof of the inadequacy of the legal remedy as well as proof that the plaintiff urgently needs pre-trial injunctive relief); 3) whether the balance of hardships tips in the plaintiff’s favor; and 4) whether the requested injunction would serve the public interest.

Getting a temporary injunction to keep the Clippers would be a very tough case for Sterling.

He’s unlikely to succeed on the merits, given his signing of contracts with the NBA approving of this process. Though he could argue owning an NBA team is such a unique privilege it can’t be replaced by financial compensation, there is probably a dollar amount that covers any harm he’s suffered. The NBA – facing player and sponsor protests – could also face hardships due to an injunction. And maybe – though I’m not sure a court could/would see it this way – a racist continuing to own such a high-profile business actually goes against the public interest.

Sterling must overcome all those arguments to get his injunction. I doubt it happens. Instead, the NBA will likely vote out Sterling and sell the Clippers.

Then, as McCann says, the league will probably face a lengthy lawsuit from Sterling over damages.

Edmond Sumner declares for NBA draft despite torn ACL

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Edmond Sumner has grown about five inches since high school.

That has helped turn the 6-foot-5 Xavier point guard into an intriguing NBA prospect — but also seemingly contributed to physical complications. Sumner missed nearly all of his freshman year with knee tendinitis. Then, after a promising second season and start to his third, he tore his ACL in January.

Still, he’s entering the NBA draft.

Sumner:

Rick Broering of Musketeer Report:

Like with Duke’s Harry Giles, medical testing will be huge with Sumner. But at least Giles ended the season on the court. Sumner might not be healthy at all during the pre-draft process.

Sumner looked like a borderline first-round pick before the injury. This probably pushes him into the second round.

His long strides provide impressive speed and quickness, and he’s still shifty. Add quality court vision, and his ability to drive by defenders is even more valuable.

A 6-foot-8 wingspan and good lateral mobility also help make him a quality defender.

But it’s also concerning that so much of his positives could be undermined by his knee issues, especially considering his unreliable jumper. If Sumner can’t move like he did before getting hurt, I don’t see how he sticks in the NBA.

If Sumner’s knees check out, it’s worth rolling the dice on him and hoping his jumper develops. He might even be OK without shooting range, though that’d lower his ceiling considerably.

Again, though, the first thing is examining his knees.

PBT Extra: Can Boston hang on to the No. 1 seed in East?

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In an unexpected twist as the season winds down, the Cavaliers have stumbled — 8-11 since the All-Star break — while the Celtics have just kept on winning. Suddenly the Boston Celtics are on top of the East with the best record.

Can they stay on top through the rest of the season?

Does it matter to the Cavaliers?

I cover all this ground in the latest PBT Extra.

Draymond Green on Raiders move to Las Vegas: I won’t attend another game

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The Raiders are moving from Oakland to Las Vegas, and Draymond Green — whose Warriors also play in Oakland is not pleased.

Green, via Monte Poole of CSN Bay Area:

I wouldn’t attend a game. I won’t attend a game.

“And I’m not a diehard Raiders fan, but I support the city of Oakland. It ain’t for me and I feel like all fans should feel that way. You just don’t do that. Come on man, that’s ridiculous.”

“If I were the fans, I wouldn’t attend a game for the next two years. But that’s just me. That’s ridiculous. No way I’d pay my money to attend a game.”

 

Um, does Green realize the Warriors are also moving from Oakland (to a new arena in San Francisco)?

Green:

“It’s one thing if you’re moving them from Oakland to Fremont or something,” Green said of the Raiders. “To Las Vegas?

OK, that’s Fair. I am just being pedantic. I don’t actually see moving across the bay as similar to the Raiders moving hundreds of miles away.

Green:

“That’s like moving the Dallas Cowboys or moving the Packers,” he said. “Moving the Raiders? You can move a lot of teams. Ain’t many fan bases like the Raiders fan base. That’s like moving the Boston Celtics from Boston or the Lakers from LA.

“You just don’t move certain franchises with the fan base they have.”

But seriously this time: Someone tell Green that the Raiders have already moved from Oakland to Los Angeles and back to Oakland — hundreds of miles each way and a ridiculous drive in traffic.

I get that Green — who grew up in Detroit Lions territory, roots for the Pittsburgh Steelers and is pictured above in a San Francisco 49ers jersey — just wants to connect with Oakland fans, but this argument is just intellectually dishonest.

Lonzo Ball: I’m better than Markelle Fultz

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Who should go No. 1 in the 2017 NBA draft?

A pair of Pac-12 freshmen point guards, Washington’s Markelle Fultz and UCLA’s Lonzo Ball, lead the discussion.

Fultz looks like the leading contender, but Ball doesn’t buy into the conventional wisdom.

Ball, via ESPN:

“Markelle’s a great player, but I feel I’m better than him,” said Ball, who led the Bruins to a pair of blowout victories over Fultz’s Huskies this season.

“I think I can lead a team better than him,” Ball added. “Obviously he’s a great scorer — he’s a great player, so I’m not taking that away from him.”

This will get spun into a discussion of Lonzo’s father, LaVar Ball. But, without digging deeply, D'Angelo Russell, Shabazz Muhammad and Enes Kanter each claimed to be the best player in their respective drafts. Look further, and there are many more examples.

Reaching Lonzo Ball’s level usually comes with supreme confidence. This is normal — not a cause for concern about the influence of his boastful dad.

And for what’s it’s worth, I’d favor Ball over Fultz right now, though there’s still more information to gather in the draft process.