Donald Sterling sues NBA for $1 billion

LOS ANGELES -- It was a tale of two teams Friday in the muddled story of NBA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, his estranged wife and the NBA.

On one side, the NBA and the Sterling Family Trust announced an agreement resolving the ownership dispute over the Los Angeles Clippers. Under the agreement, the Sterling's will sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2-billion dollars, pending approval by the NBA Board of Governors. The NBA has cancelled its Tuesday hearing and vote to terminate the Sterlings' ownership of the Clippers. Shelley Sterling and the trust also agreed not to sue the NBA.

On the other side, lawyers for Donald Sterling filed a $1 billion lawsuit against the NBA over the forced sale of the team.

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his wife Shelly attend an NBA basketball game between the Toronto Raptors and the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center in Los Angeles in this Dec. 22, 2008, file photo.
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his wife Shelly attend an NBA basketball game between the Toronto Raptors and the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center in Los Angeles in this Dec. 22, 2008, file photo.
Reuters/Danny Moloshok

Meanwhile, a source close to Shelly Sterling tells CBS News she now has sole control of the Los Angeles Clippers because her estranged husband Donald was diagnosed with Alzheimers disease after being evaluated by two neurologists earlier this month. The source has not provided proof of that.

Today one of Donald Sterling's attorneys told CBS News, "the assertion that Donald Sterling lacks mental capacity is absurd."

Shelly Sterling announced late Thursday night that she'd signed a binding contract for a sale of the Clippers by The Sterling Family Trust to Ballmer for a record-breaking $2 billion.

NBA spokesman Mike Bass says that the owners' advisory/finance committee discussed that during a Friday conference call.

The league had planned a hearing Tuesday in New York to consider charges against Donald Sterling for damaging the league with his racist comments. Owners could then have voted to terminate his ownership - and Shelly's as well.

However that hearing was cancelled late Friday, the NBA announced.

The sale must be approved by the NBA before it can go forward and would require Donald Sterling's signature as 50 percent owner, but a statement released by Shelly Sterling's representatives stated she acted "under her authority as the sole trustee of the Sterling Family Trust."

Donald Sterling, who bought the team in 1981 for $12.5 million, had earlier authorized his wife to negotiate the sale of the franchise, but his attorney, Bobby Samini, said Sterling is "not selling the team. That's his position. He's not going to sell."

Earlier, another Sterling attorney, Maxwell Blecher, told CBS News he had "no court order declaring Mr. Sterling mentally incompetent."

The league has been working to force a sale of the team since Commissioner Adam Silver slapped Donald Sterling with a lifetime ban from the NBA and a $2.5 million fine after an audiotape of the 80-year-old billionaire delivering a racist rant was made public. In the taped conversation, Sterling chastised his companion, V. Stiviano, for appearing in photographs with black people and told her not to bring black people to Clippers games.

Sterling has apologized for his comments but said he was "baited" into making them.

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