Donald Sterling to Fight Back, Won’t Pay $2.5M Fine and Clippers Owner Will Sue the NBA

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By James Patrick Quizon | May 16, 2014 2:53 PM EST

Donald Sterling has denied in recent interviews that he is a racist and sent in half-hearted apology about the whole issue. On Thursday, Sports Illustrated is reporting that the accused bigot may even sue the league and won’t pay $2.5 million fine imposed by NBA commissioner Adam Silver at the height of the controversy.

REUTERS
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling (C), his wife Shelly (L) and actor George Segal attend the NBA basketball game between the Toronto Raptors and the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, December 22, 2008

According to the report, Sterling has tapped prominent antitrust litigator Maxwell Blecher.

Blecher wrote a letter to NBA executive vice president and general counsel Rick Buchanan with threats to sue the NBA. From the same memo, Blecher mentioned that his client will not pay the $2.5M fine and that Sterling has done nothing wrong and no punishment is warranted.

The strong response will most likely draw an equally stronger, if not violent, retort from the players. Some NBA players including LeBron James, perhaps the face of the NBA of this generation, has already threatened not to suit up for the 2014-2015 NBA season if Sterling stays as an owner for the Los Angeles Clippers.

Blecher’s argument for Sterling and defense for his client can be summed up in two things; that Sterling has not violated any article of the NBA constitution; and that Sterling wasn’t given due process.

The NBA investigation took just four days and Sterling was banned from the NBA for life by Silver.

Sterling is in hot water and the NBA embroiled in the controversy after a recorded conversation with racist remarks by the Clippers owner went out in public in April 2012.

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(Photo: REUTERS / Danny Moloshok)
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling (C), his wife Shelly (L) and actor George Segal attend the NBA basketball game between the Toronto Raptors and the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, December 22, 2008
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