The Washington Post

Donald Sterling takes the stand, delivers the drama

Monday saw the beginning of the Sterling vs. Sterling trial, one that could determine whether a $2 billion sale of the Clippers goes through.  What Monday didn’t see was the star attraction, Donald Sterling himself, who failed to show up in court.

On Tuesday, Sterling did show up, was called to the stand and delivered on expectations (based on his numerous court appearances) that he would be some combination of weird and combative. Fortunately, we live in an age where reporters can and do tweet constantly about the proceedings, giving the rest of us a moment-by-moment account of what happened.

Sterling was questioned by prominent entertainment lawyer Bert Fields about depositions the previous day from doctors who had certified that Sterling was mentally incapacitated, and thus essentially unfit to stop his wife, Shelly, from selling the team. From the outset, observers noted that Sterling appeared to be crazy — like a fox.


Questions directly involving Sterling’s wife seemed to make him emotional.

Some of Sterling’s comments indicated a paranoia about certain media outlets.

It wasn’t long before Sterling was giving Fields and the judge all they could handle.


Sterling even went so far as to say that one of the doctors who examined him had been boozing it up.

All in all, it was a vintage performance by Sterling, who, again, has had a fair amount of practice at this sort of thing. Which raises the question: If Sterling essentially acted the same way he has in this setting for a couple of decades, can he be ruled to have recently become mentally incompetent? Of course, another question might be: Was Sterling fit to own the Clippers two, or even three decades ago?


Des writes for the Early Lead and the D.C. Sports Bog, scouring the Web to bring readers items of interest, both serious and amusing. He also covers fantasy football, as well as fitness topics for the MisFits.



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Des Bieler · July 8, 2014