29 May 2014

Sterling to fight NBA's Clippers strip bid

5:58 pm on 29 May 2014

The man banned from the NBA for life for his much publicised racist comments, Donald Sterling, has vowed to fight what he describes as the NBA's "Illegal" efforts to terminate his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team.

Sterling met the NBA's deadline for a response to its charge of racist conduct detrimental to the league, saying the recording of his racially-charged remarks that ignited a firestorm in April were illegally made and can't be used to expel him from the league.

In his letter to the league, Sterling says he's received offers of more than $NZ2.9 billion for the team, but says a forced sale would result in an "egregious" tax burden for him and his family.

Sterling says that his remarks about African Americans were made in a private conversation and that recording them without his knowledge was a crime under California law.

"This was an argument between a jealous man and the woman he loved that should never have left the privacy of the living room," Sterling says.

The NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling for life from NBA facilities and activities and fined him $NZ2.9 million after the comments were made public.

Silver called for Sterling to be stripped of his ownership of the club - something that requires a vote of three-quarters of the remaining 29 owners.

An NBA spokesman Mike Bass says the league received responses from both Donald Sterling and his wife, Shelly Sterling, and a hearing on the matter of terminating the current ownership interests of the Clippers remained scheduled for June the 3rd.