The Washington Post

Donald Sterling is ‘mentally unfit’ and cannot stop Clippers sale, source says

Donald and Shelly Sterling. (Mark J. Terrill/AP)

Chatter about whether Donald Sterling will attempt to stop the $2 billion deal that his wife Shelly Sterling reached on Thursday with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to sell the Los Angeles Clippers is at an all time high. The obvious answer, considering the litigious billionaire’s history and recent statements that he would fight “to the bloody end,” is yes. But now a source familiar with the family is saying Donald Sterling can’t stop it because “he has been determined to be mentally unfit to make decisions related to the family trust,” USA Today reports. The paper writes:

“The Sterling Family Trust owns the team, with Donald and his wife Shelly each owning a 50 percent share. The trust spells out provisions and procedures related to the mental capacity of the trustees, and Donald Sterling did not meet the standard in a determination by experts, giving his wife sole decision-making power for the trust, the person said.”

This contrasts previous reports that say Mr. Sterling, who has been under fire since tapes of him making racist comments surfaced in April, would have to sign off on the $2 billion deal before it would go forth. Ballmer’s lawyer told ESPN on Thursday that he had yet to do so.

Sterling’s camp did not return calls to USA Today regarding the question of Sterling’s mental health.

However, whether USA Today’s source is accurate or not, Sterling still has to face the NBA Board of Governors, who are set to meet on Tuesday to vote whether to strip him of ownership of the team. While some of the team owners who compose the NBA Board, including Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, maintain they are “undecided” on how they will vote, it seems likely that most will follow NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s wishes and oust the disgraced Sterling, especially in light of the new, record-breaking $2 billion deal.

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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