Donald Sterling says LA Clippers not for sale
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling said on Monday the basketball franchise was not for sale and he would fight to keep the team he built, in the latest salvo of his battle with the league.
Sterling was banned for life by the National Basketball Association in April over a leaked recording of racist remarks he made.
Then, on May 30, Sterling sued the NBA and its commissioner, Adam Silver, seeking at least $1 billion in damages, just as the league tentatively approved a deal by his estranged wife, co-owner of the franchise, to sell the club for $2 billion to former Microsoft Corp chief executive Steve Ballmer.
Besides the lifetime ban, Silver also fined Sterling $2.5 million, the league's maximum penalty.
Sterling's attorney, Maxwell Blecher, told Reuters in a statement on Monday that Sterling had withdrawn his support of the Clippers sale and that he will press ahead with his lawsuit.
In a statement carried by NBC News, Sterling said he had been treated unfairly and must defend his rights to privacy and due process.
"From the onset, I did not want to sell the Los Angeles Clippers. I have worked for 33 years to build the team ... I intend to fight to keep the team," NBC News quoted the 80-year-old Sterling as saying on Monday.
Amid fury at Sterling's remarks from fans, players and sponsors of the Clippers, the NBA commissioner also urged the league's 29 other team owners to take the unprecedented step of forcing Sterling to sell the Clippers, which he bought in 1981.
Sterling also said in the statement that he was extremely sorry for the hurtful comments he made in private, and that they were made in anger and jealousy. Continued...