Clippers owner Donald Sterling has hired antitrust lawyer Maxwell Blecher and threatened to sue the NBA, a league source confirmed.
SI.com first reported the news.
Blecher wrote a letter to NBA executive vice president and general counsel Rick Buchanan, claiming that his client — banned from NBA activities for life more than two weeks ago for racist comments — had done nothing wrong and that “no punishment is warranted.” Blecher also states that Sterling will not pay the $2.5 million fine NBA commissioner Adam Silver had levied on him.
Blecher also wrote that Sterling has not violated any articles in the NBA constitution, and that the league in turn has violated his client’s “due process rights.”
Sterling broke his silence earlier this week, apologizing in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
“I’m a good member who made a mistake and I’m apologizing and I’m asking for forgiveness,” Sterling said in the Monday broadcast, one that generated more controversy due to his attack on Magic Johnson. “Am I entitled to one mistake, am I after 35 years? I mean, I love my league, I love my partners. Am I entitled to one mistake? It’s a terrible mistake, and I’ll never do it again.”
He did not comment then when asked whether or not he would sue the league, appearing to hold out hope that his fellow owners might decide not to force him out with a three-fourths majority vote.
Staff writer Mark Medina contributed reporting.