NBA files counterclaim against Donald Sterling to seek monetary damages


Max Blecher, Donald Sterling’s lawyer. (Nick Ut/AP)

Correction: The photo caption was originally mislabeled. It has been updated.

Despite the NBA’s announcement that the Clippers sale has been finalized, the drama starring ousted owner Donald Sterling isn’t quite over yet, at least for the league. The U.S. District Court in Los Angeles must now look at an NBA counterclaim, filed Monday, against the 80-year-old and the Sterling Family Trust that seeks damages for what the league describes as “devastating and incalculable harm” to the league caused by Sterling and his racist remarks, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Specifically, the counterclaim asks the court to enforce indemnification clauses outlined in the NBA’s Constitution and By-Laws and signed by Sterling and his wife, Shelly. The stipulation requires Sterling or the trust to compensate the league for the money spent on its investigation related to the case, discipline of Sterling and the federal lawsuit, the LA Times writes.

The countersuit comes in response to the antitrust suit Sterling filed in June against the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver. Sterling is not likely to win that case.

Whatever happens, while the Sterling drama still remains for the league’s legal team, it is over for the Clippers. There is now no question about who owns the team — ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer — and it seems getting the group back to concentrating on basketball is his main goal. According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, Ballmer is expected to talk contract extensions with Clippers Coach Doc Rivers in the very near future.

Marissa Payne writes for The Early Lead, a fast-breaking sports blog, where she focuses on what she calls the “cultural anthropological” side of sports, aka “mostly the fun stuff.” She is also an avid WWE fan.
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