Apparently unaware that all of this was old and boring two weeks ago, Donald Sterling has flip-flopped once more. The embattled owner of the Los Angeles Clippers now says that the team is not up for sale.
Sterling’s latest reversal on the sale of the L.A. Clippers — a sale the NBA has been trying to force since inflammatory racist comments by Sterling were recorded and made public — came Monday evening by way of a statement released to NBC News.
“From the onset, I did not want to sell the Los Angeles Clippers,” the 80-year-old Sterling said in his remarks. “I have worked for 33 years to build the Team. The Team is not for Sale.”
He continued, “I have decided that I must fight to protect my rights. While my position may not be popular, I believe that my rights to privacy and the preservation of my rights to due process should not be trampled.”
It is unclear as of yet whether the statement was typed in Comic Sans.
Odd capitalization errors aside, Sterling’s newest statement comes on the heels of a statement from Sterling’s lawyer, released last week, saying that Sterling would be going away and agreeing to the sale of the team for $2 billion to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. That statement came shortly after yet another statement from Sterling’s lawyer that he would not only fight the sale of the team, but would also sue the NBA for $1 billion.
In completely unrelated news, a pair of neurologists reportedly examined Sterling recently, finding that he suffers from Alzheimer’s and may have been afflicted with the degenerative neurological disorder for the past three to five years.
In April 2014, a recording surfaced of Sterling arguing with his mistress over her having appeared in Instagram photos with a number of African-American males. The recordings bloomed into a scandal, and the league acted quickly, banning Sterling for life from NBA events and initiating procedures to force the sale of the Clippers.
Even prior to the emergence of the recordings, Sterling had been something of a lightning rod among NBA owners. The lawyer-turned-real estate mogul was forced to pay out millions of dollars in fines due to housing discrimination allegations. According to the allegations, Sterling allegedly told employees not to rent to African-American or Latino prospective tenants, holding that the former were dirty and that the latter would only sit around all day.
Sterling’s wife, Shelly Sterling, has been handling efforts to sell the franchise. The Clippers’ $2 billion valuation, which caused observers to reevaluate the worth of other franchises in the league, initially appeared to placate Sterling. The Clippers owner has requested that his lifetime ban from attending NBA events be rescinded, but league commissioner Adam Silver has resisted Sterling’s push.
Sterling’s return to defiance will likely once again draw attention away from actual basketball just as the NBA Finals got interesting, with the Miami Heat stealing a victory on the San Antonio Spurs’ home court and tying the series at one game apiece.
Lead image via USA Today.