Sterling agrees to Clippers sale, will drop NBA lawsuit
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Donald Sterling, the embattled owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, has agreed to sell the team for $2 billion and will drop his lawsuit against the National Basketball Association, his lawyer, Maxwell Blecher, said on Wednesday.
Sterling, 80, has been banned for life and fined $2.5 million by the NBA for racist remarks he made in a taped recording that were leaked to the media in April. Most of the players in the NBA are black.
His estranged wife, Shelly Sterling, last week agreed to sell the franchise to former Microsoft Corp chief executive Steve Ballmer for an NBA record price of $2 billion.
Sterling sued the NBA and league commissioner Adam Silver last week for at least $1 billion in damages, alleging the NBA forced him to sell the franchise based on a recording illegal under California law.
The lawsuit was filed at the same time as the NBA tentatively agreed to the Clippers sale and announced that Shelly Sterling agreed that neither she nor the trust that owns the team would sue the league.
By dropping his lawsuit and any opposition to the sale, Sterling, who had owned the Clippers for 33 years, brings a close to a crisis that brought shame on the league, caused sponsors to drop the team and led players to consider a boycott.
(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Sandra Maler)
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