LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — While the NBA Board of Governors is set to vote on the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Tuesday, the potential for Donald Sterling to legally challenge the sale raises more questions.
Sterling’s lawyer, Maxwell Blecher, says he and the embattled owner are taking their time in the decision of what course of action to take after Sterling’s wife, Shelly, sold the team to Ballmer for a reported $2 billion.
“We need some time to re-evaluate whether that lawsuit has any legs and is worth pursuing,” Blecher said.
Shelly Sterling had reportedly agreed to indemnify the NBA of any lawsuits that would stem from the sale of the team. On these grounds, Sterling could actually lose money if he decided to go forward an ultimately successful lawsuit against the NBA.
“What that means at the end of the day, is that if he prevails against the NBA, then they don’t have to pay it, the family trust has to pay it ,” Glendale University College of Law professor David Friedman said. “So he would be paying himself, essentially.”
Blecher, on the other hand, says that the indemnity’s legitimacy.
“…to say that she would use the trust funds to pay any judgement (Sterling) may get against the NBA, in my view, at least raises serious questions about whether that indemnity is enforceable,” Blecher said.
The sale of the team by Shelly Sterling became possible after it was reported that Donald Sterling was mentally incapacitated. Blecher, who says he obtained the medical reports through the Sterling family trust, disputes the claim, and now wants his client’s name cleared.
“(Shelly) wanted to sell the team,” Blecher said. “She knew he wouldn’t sign, so she just outfoxed him by saying ‘you’re a nutcase, and I’m going to make it so you don’t have to sign’, and that’s what she went ahead and did.”
Representatives for Shelly Sterling have declined to comment, but Blecher suggests Donald Sterling is considering the possibility of lawsuits against his wife, the NBA, and both.