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Disgraced Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling obviously has enough money. The man is 80 years old, and the billions of dollars he would receive as the result of selling the Clippers simply does not satisfy him.
Sterling bought the Clippers for a cool $12.5 million in 1981 and it is rumored to sell for over $1 billion today, according to New York Daily News. It would be a tidy profit if I must say so myself. Sterling however, is more interested in fighting the league than cashing in. That feisty attitude that the league loves and adores is back in action.
Much like many billionaires in our world today, the money becomes meaningless. Instead, fighting for what’s right (in their own head) becomes much more important, despite the lack of self-realization of their surroundings. Nobody wants this guy around and yet he’s asking for more attention.
After NBA commissioner Adam Silver vowed to rid the league of the controversial Clippers owner, it was rumored for a while that Sterling would go quietly into the night. That was until now, as Sterling’s attorney, Max Blecher, told USA Today late Tuesday that he has no interest in selling the team (despite comments made by his wife, Shelly Sterling), according to CBS News. The league received a 32-page letter from Sterling, in which he responded to the charges against him and refuted his wife’s statement that they would both sell the team.
So, what could have been a nice transition will now turn into a long-running soap opera. The NBA now has a problem and a big fight on their hands.
Once Silver defiantly told the world that they would oust the Clippers owner, he laid the ground work for a deep promise. To not come through on such a promise would be a catastrophe. It would be a disaster for the league, and for the newly minted commissioner who took over for the retired David Stern.
The heart of the issue is the NBA’s constitution, and where justification lays. Absolutely, what Sterling said on those audio tapes reveals a twisted and sick mind, but does that call for his automatic removal on a fair and legal basis?
On June 2, the league plans to hold a meeting that would decide Sterling’s fate as owner. If two-thirds of the board (owners) vote to ban him, then he would be ousted.
The question is this: under what constitutional clause is this vote being protected under?
Article 13 of the NBA Constitution states that an owner may be terminated if he or she "willfully violates any provisions of the constitution ... or agreements of the Association," according to USA Today. It is an area in the league’s constitution where most feel the NBA is hiding under. It is one that will have his fellow owners pass a vote on his fate.
The problem for the league is does this case fall under that specific article? The Sterling camp says no, the Silver camp says yes. What it will come down to is a bunch of lawyers fighting it out over a long period of time, which nobody cares to see.
Despite Sterling being the main name here, the man who is truly in the spotlight is now Silver. Nobody could have given this man a tougher situation to handle, and better yet, in his very first season as commissioner.
The likes of LeBron James, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan are all counting on Silver. The league’s overall health is counting on Silver. It is one thing to have a bigoted man owning an NBA team. It is an entirely dangerous thing to have him owning an NBA team after they vowed to eliminate him.