Sterling drops lawsuit, agrees to sale

 

The Sports Network

(SportsNetwork.com) - Donald Sterling has given up his fight against the NBA.

Sterling has agreed to sign off on the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for a record sum and dropped his $1 billion lawsuit against the NBA, according to a statement released Wednesday to NBC News by one of Sterling's attorneys.

The statement from attorney Bobby Samini says the Sterlings have agreed to sell to Ballmer for $2 billion "and various additional benefits."

"All disputes and outstanding issues have been resolved," the statement says.

Sterling's estranged wife and co-owner, Shelly, agreed to the sale last week. The NBA approved it on Friday and canceled a June 3 meeting during which the league's Board of Governors could have voted to terminate Sterling's ownership in the Clippers.

The NBA banned Donald Sterling for life and fined him $2.5 million last month over secretly taped racist comments and said it would encourage the league's other owners to force him to sell the team he bought for $12.5 million in 1981.

The sale still has one more hurdle to pass. It requires a three-fourths vote by the Board of Governors for approval.

If the deal goes through, Los Angeles will be home to two professional sports franchises that were sold for at least $2 billion. The Dodgers were purchased for $2.1 billion in 2012.

In a response last week to the NBA's formal charges against him, Sterling had said the league's attempts to take the Clippers away were a "sham" and called the punishments levied against him by NBA commissioner Adam Silver "draconian penalties" that wouldn't be enforced by any court.

Audio of Sterling urging a female acquaintance not to bring black people to Clippers games and disparaging Magic Johnson was first published in April by TMZ.

The comments sent shockwaves through the league, leading to a protest from Clippers players, who dropped warmup jackets at midcourt before a playoff game and practiced with their shirts turned inside-out to hide the team's logo.

Sterling said the NBA was attempting to strip his ownership of the Clippers over what he called illegally recorded remarks made during a "lovers' quarrel."

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