Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling vowed to never sell the team Wednesday (July 9), when he took the witness stand and denounced his wife, her lawyers and the NBA.
According to ESPN.com, the 80-year-old owner vowed a prolonged series of legal litigation until he dies… before he will ever sell the Clippers.
“Make no mistake today,” Sterling shouted during testimony in the trial to determine his wife Shelly has the right to sell the team. “I will never, ever sell this team, and until I die I will be suing the NBA for this terrible violation under antitrust.”
Shelly followed him to the stand, and he lashed out at her, shouting: “Get away from me, you pig!”
Although he began his testimony by saying he loved his wife, he also denounced her, explaining that she had deceived him when she told him to have psychiatric and neurological exams only because he had turned 80, and she was concerned for his health. But instead, used it to gain control and sell off the NBA franchise to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
“She deceived me. I trusted her,” Sterling said. “I never thought a wife wouldn’t stand for her husband.”
Before making the deal, she had two doctors examined Donald Sterling and declared him mentally incapacitated and unable to act as an administrator of the Sterling Family Trust, which owns the Clippers.
Sterling’s legal team is challenging her authority. During examination by his own lawyer, Maxwell Blecher, Sterling say Shelly has no authority to make decisions on behalf of the team, especially in its sale.
“She has no rights whatsoever. She has no stock. She has no standing whatsoever,” Sterling said.
For those not following the Donald Sterling scandal, the Clippers owner was banned for life from the NBA, and forced to sell the team after a recorded conversation leaked to the Internet earlier this year, in which he made racist statements.
NBA owners are scheduled to vote on the Ballmer deal July 15. It’s also the day that Ballmer’s offer is set to expire.
If the sale isn’t completed by Sept. 15, the league said it could seize the team and put it up for auction.