Sterling agrees to Clippers sale, will drop NBA lawsuit

Wed Jun 4, 2014 8:23pm EDT
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By Eric Kelsey

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling 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, five weeks after taped racist remarks Sterling made caused the NBA to ban him for life.

Sterling, 80, sued the league and commissioner Adam Silver for at least $1 billion in damages last week at the same time as the NBA tentatively approved a deal his estranged wife had struck to sell the franchise to former Microsoft Corp chief executive Steve Ballmer for an NBA record price of $2 billion.

Sterling, who has owned the Clippers for 33 years, brought shame on the league and delivered the first crisis of Silver's tenure, which began in February.

Silver banished Sterling and fined him $2.5 million for the comments after the taped racist remarks were leaked to the media in April while the Clippers were playing in the NBA playoffs.

The comments caused sponsors to sever ties with the team and players considered a boycott.

Sterling has said that his remarks to a "lover" about not being photographed with black people or bringing them to Clippers games were a part of a jealous quarrel that was illegally recorded under California law.

Most of the players in the NBA are black.

In the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Sterling accuses the NBA and Silver of breach of contract, antitrust violations, among others.   Continued...

Real estate mogul and Los Angeles Clippers NBA basketball team owner Donald Sterling attends the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California May 1, 2012. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok