Donald Sterling

Donald Sterling’s lawyer says client “far from mentally incompetent”


If you can only be sure of three things they should be death, taxes, and that Donald Sterling was going to fight the idea that he was mentally incapacitated (and the sale of “his” Clippers to Steve Ballmer).

Donald’s wife Shelly, who owns half of the Clippers through the Sterling Family Trust, reportedly had Donald declared mentally incapacitated under the terms of the trust (which had contingencies for such things). With that done she reached an agreement to sell the Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. The league has been informed of the sale and is awaiting the paperwork.

Donald Sterling will fight it all, that’s how he’s wired, starting with the suggestion he is mentally incapacitated. Ramona Shelburne of ESPN received and email from Donald Sterling’s attorney.

Notice he says “incompetent” as opposed to her attorney’s wording of “incapacitated,” arguing over the minutia of those kinds of definitions and how it applies to a broader document is what lawyers do. Whether or not Donald Sterling is by definition incapacitated depends on the terms in the trust, plus what was found on the neurological exams. We cannot judge Sterling’s mental state from the edited snippets of the CNN interview with Anderson Cooper we saw. There have been reports Sterling was suffering from some form of dementia (as well as prostate cancer) but the only evidence is with the doctors (who are the only people qualified to judge the evidence).

Whether what Shelly Sterling did will hold up in court remains to be seen.

Which is why the league has said it is awaiting all the details and paperwork of the sale to Ballmer and for now is still moving ahead with plans for a June 3 Board of Governors meeting on the issue. At that meeting other 29 NBA owners would conduct a hearing then vote on whether to strip Sterling of his ownership of the franchise in response to the backlash that followed his prejudiced comments on a recording released to TMZ, plus later in a CNN interview. The NBA has filed official charges against Donald Sterling, as required by its constitution, and he has responded through his attorney.

Bottom line: This is all headed to the courts. As expected. But know that sources say the NBA worked with Shelly Sterling to make sure all her ducks were in a row on this — the league would prefer the voluntary sale to them taking over the team.

Chris Paul, after breaking finger, intends to play in Clippers preseason game tomorrow

Chris Paul
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Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.

The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.

Here’s confirmation.

Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:

Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.

Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.

Report: David Lee, Tyler Zeller in line to start for Celtics; Jared Sullinger, Jonas Jerebko out of rotation

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 08: David Lee of Boston Celtics attacks during the friendlies of the NBA Global Games 2015 basketball match between Real Madrid and Boston Celtics at Barclaycard Center on October 8, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.

It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.

A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:

it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.

That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.

Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.

Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.

I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.

This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.