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'Mentally Unfit' Racist NBA Owner Loses Team

Donald Sterling has Clippers sold for $2 billion in sale by his wife he can't stop, after experts find him lacking mental capacity.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 5/30/2014, 12:29 PM

Donald Sterling
Donald Sterling
Reuters

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling lost the authority to stop the $2 billion sale of his NBA team Thursday, after reportedly being determined mentally unfit to make decisions about the family trust.

Sterling was hit with a $2.5 million fine and lifetime ban from the NBA due to racist remarks he made that were revealed in recordings last month.

In those recordings, he is heard telling his girlfriend V. Stiviano "In your lousy (expletive) Instagrams, you don't have to have yourself with - walking with black people." Speaking about NBA legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Sterling added "admire him, bring him here, feed him, (expletive) him, but don't put (Magic) on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don't bring him to my games."

Sterling and his wife Shelly each own half of the Sterling Family Trust which officially owns the Clippers; however, Sterling was found by experts to not meet the standard of mental capacity demanded of trustees, leaving his wife as the sole owner according to a source who spoke to USA Today.

Shelly Sterling sealed a deal on Thursday with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to sell the team. The $2 billion sum is a record, and gives Ballmer full ownership of the team, even though Shelly could still be involved in the franchise in some other capacity according to the source.

The contract has been sent to the NBA for approval.

"Shelly Sterling was acting under her authority as the sole trustee of the Sterling Family Trust which owns the Clippers," Shelly's representatives said Thursday in a statement.

"I am delighted that we are selling the team to Steve, who will be a terrific owner," Shelly noted in the statement. "We have worked for 33 years to build the Clippers into a premiere NBA franchise. I am confident that Steve will take the team to new levels of success."

Donald Sterling's attorneys did not return calls by the American paper on Thursday night. On Tuesday he said he refused to sell the team.

In mid-May Sterling sent a letter to the NBA, in which he refused to pay the league-imposed fine and rejected his lifetime ban. He also threatened the NBA with a lawsuit.