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Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has yet to pay the NBA’s $2.5 million fine and is refusing to do so. In a letter written by antitrust litigator Maxwell Blecher to NBA executive vice president and general counsel Rick Buchanan, Sterling threatens to sue the league and Blecher says that Sterling did nothing wrong.
Sources told Sports Illustrated that the letter states that “no punishment is warranted” for Sterling, who has been facing criticism since a tape leaked on TMZ, in which he told his girlfriend not to bring black people to his games. Blecher says that Sterling will not pay the fine and Sterling already missed the deadline to do so.
“We reject your demand for payment,” Blecher writes to Buchanan. Sterling had until Thursday to pay the fine.
According to ESPN, the letter claims that Sterling didn’t violate the NBA constitution and that he was not given his “due process rights.” The NBA’s investigation did only last four days, before NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling from NBA activities for life and ordered him to pay the fine.
It appears that Belcher is going to try to argue that Sterling did nothing unethical, based on the NBA constitution. However, Sterling himself admitted that he made a “mistake” in his CNN interview with Anderson Cooper. He also made outrageous remarks about NBA legend and Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson during the interview.
Silver has said that the NBA Board of Governors will meet to decide if Sterling will be forced to sell the team. If he is, Sterling could make millions, as he only bought the team for $12.5 million in 1981. Forbes currently values the franchise at $575 million.
As the ongoing off-court controversy plays out, the Clippers team has been eliminated from the playoffs. They lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder 104-98 last night.