It’s not a good day to be Donald Sterling.
The Clippers have been sold to Steve Ballmer and as many lawyers as Sterling hires, no matter how much money he throws at the problem, no matter how much dirt he digs up or how much he bullies everyone involved, that sale will not be undone. No judge is going to step in and overturn it now. The deed is done.
Not only is the team sold, but also everyone is celebrating that it happened and you are out.
Then, as the cherry on the sundae, the NBA has counter-sued Sterling on his $1 billion antitrust suit against the league and Commissioner Adam Silver, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The NBA filed a counterclaim against Donald Sterling and the Sterling Family Trust in federal court Monday, saying the Clippers owner caused “devastating and incalculable harm” to the league.
Filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles in response to Sterling’s June antitrust lawsuit against the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver, the counterclaim seeks to recover damages related to the owner’s recorded comments denigrating blacks.
Both the league constitution and a document Sterling signed in July 2005 say that Sterling has to indemnify the league against losses and litigation based on his actions, according to the suit. The league says it spent money investigating Sterling as well as defending the lawsuit he filed against the league and it wants its money back for that.
This move is pretty standard, almost all lawsuits of this size and nature have a countersuit to provide leverage.
Sterling is a bitter man and likely is going to try to make this as ugly and messy as he can for the league (and he might have some success there), but as far as the league is concerned he is now a sideshow. He is out. Ballmer is in and the Clippers are moving on without Donald.
This is all separate from the fraud lawsuit that Sterling filed against the league and his wife Shelly.