Donald Sterling has no plans to sell the Los Angeles Clippers.
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti said on the CBS News’ Face the Nation Sunday morning that he recently spoke with Sterling and got the impression that the Clippers owner, who is banned from life from the NBA, will resist attempts to force him to sell the team.
“He thinks he’s going to be the owner for a long time,” Garcetti said on the program, according to the Los Angeles Times. “He believes in his heart that he’s a very good person.”
In addition to the lifetime ban, which prevents him from attending games or practices and from making decisions relating to the team, Sterling received a $2.5 million fine from NBA commissioner Adam Silver for racist comments Sterling made in a taped conversation with his friend and employee, V. Stiviano.
On April 29, four days after the recording was released, Silver announced the ban and fine, and said the league would try to force Sterling to sell the team, a move which would require the approval of 22 of the other 29 NBA team owners.
Despite the league’s plans, and despite widespread condemnation for his comments and pressure to sell the team, Garcetti says Sterling will fight to maintain ownership of the Clippers.
“This will be a long, protracted fight and a painful thing for our city,” he said, according to The Huffington Post.
Sterling bought the team in 1981 for $12 million. The team’s value is currently estimated at $575 million, according to Forbes.