We thought it was over. Disgraced team owner Donald Sterling had lost his bid to keep the Clippers and the team was sold to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. We were wrong, however. Donald Sterling is suing the NBA and now, according to the New York Post on June 13, he's hired private investigators to dig up dirt on other NBA owners.
Donald Sterling lost his rights in the NBA and was forced to sell the Los Angeles Clippers after a highly-publicized incident regarding a tape of him making racist statements to his then girlfriend hit the news like a tidal wave. Control of the team passed to his wife and she agreed to sell the Clippers to Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. Donald Sterling, however, is not giving up. He is suing the NBA.
Sterling's lawyers have hired four private investigation firms to dig up whatever they can find on fellow NBA team owners. What are they looking for? Anything, actually, but especially racist comments they may have made in the past.
The investigators reportedly have a six-figure budget to check out the other owners. They’ll be looking for biased or sexist remarks, off-color jokes and, obviously, racist and/or bigoted statements. They are also going after the NBA’s finances, possible previous discriminatory conduct and payments to past and present commissioners.
“The gloves are off, as they say,” a source familiar with Sterling’s legal strategy said. “Have them dig up all the dirt they can find.”
The lawsuit filed by Donald Sterling seeks $1 billion in damages after the league fined him $2.5 million and banned him from the sport for life, thereby forcing him to sell the Los Angeles Clippers. The lawsuit claims that the NBA violated Sterling’s constitutional rights because the recording was illegal.
Donald Sterling also finds himself pitted against his wife in probate court. This court hearing is to judge whether Shelly Sterling actually had the right to negotiate the $2 billion contract for the Clippers. She made that deal as the sole administrator of The Sterling Family Trust, which actually owns the team. The trust fell to her after two doctors stated that Donald Sterling is mentally “incapacitated.” He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in May.