2 May 2014

Sterling may not go quietly

3:50 pm on 2 May 2014

There could yet be a lengthy legal battle over the ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers, if the disgraced owner of the NBA basketball team, Donald Sterling, chooses to fight a ruling that he must sell.

On Wednesday NBA commissioner Adam Silver acted swiftly to punish Sterling over a leaked recording of racist comments, banning the 80-year-old for life from the NBA and any involvement with the Clippers - as well as fining him $2.9 million, and ordering Sterling to sell his team.

But the NBA commissioner didn't say that Sterling couldn't sell to family members, and the New York Post's sports business reporter Josh Kosman says it sounds like Sterling does have legal avenues to fight the ruling that he must sell the team.

And Kosman says it could play out for years through the courts - which would have a massive impact on the Clippers' brand.

He says Sterling is a billionaire and he may not care if he loses a large part of an estimated $800 million profit on his investment in the Clippers back in 1981, when he paid less than $14 million for the team.