Things just got even more gnarly in the Donald Sterling saga. In response to the announcement made by Adam Silver, commissioner of the NBA, that Donald Sterling would receive a lifetime ban from anything NBA (events, meetings, practices, games, etc) and receiving the league maximum fine of 2.5 million, Sterling is responding aggressively by filing a lawsuit. Not just any suit, but Sterling is claiming 1.7 billion in damages!
Sterling’s legal team is suing on the grounds that the fine is excessive given the questionable acquisition of the recording, the ban is illegal given his status as franchise owner, and that the blackballing tactics the NBA is employing to get Sterling to sell the team are akin to modern day extortion.
Sterling’s legal team said,
“No one approves of what our client said on that recording. There’s no denying that. But it was recorded in the comfort of his own home and later obtained and publicized illegally. Not to mention, the mafia tactics the league is using to try to muscle Mr. Sterling out of his rightfully owned franchise are highly illegal and even unconstitutional. We have no doubt that our client will be exonerated when it is all said and done.”
I imagine that the league will settle, but who knows?! This thing just gets crazier and crazier. We’ll keep you in the loop.