Donald Sterling Rumors
Former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is appealing the dismissal of his $600 million antitrust lawsuit against the NBA and his wife, Shelly Sterling. The filing, with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, comes one month after U.S. District Judge Fernando M. Olguin ruled against Sterling. Olguin said in his decision that he was “skeptical Sterling suffered any injury at all, let alone an antitrust injury” by the sale of the team for $2 billion to ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and called other parts of the lawsuit implausible.
Steve Ballmer is the world’s richest sports team owner with a net worth of $23.5 billion. The longtime CEO of Microsoft MSFT -0.82%, who left the company in 2014, paid $2 billion for the Los Angeles Clippers in 2014 when the NBA forced the sale of the team after racist statements made by then-owner Donald Sterling. It was 3 ½ times the previous record sale price for an NBA franchise.
Former Clippers owner Donald Sterling lost his appeal Monday to regain the team his estranged wife sold last year for a record $2 billion after he was booted from the NBA for making discriminatory remarks about black people. The 2nd District Court of Appeal said Shelly Sterling properly removed her husband from a family trust that owned the team and that the sale to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer prevented the trust from an “extraordinary loss.” Shelly Sterling took control of the family trust after a recording surfaced of Donald Sterling making offensive comments to a young girlfriend about black people and other minorities.
The appeals court said Donald Sterling failed to show the judge committed any legal error. The three-judge panel also noted that before Sterling refused to sign off on the sale he had congratulated his wife on the price she negotiated. “Wow, you really did a good job,” he exclaimed. The price was $400 million above the next-best offer and far above what anyone thought the team, a perennial loser that was on the rise, would fetch.