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Donald Sterling changes mind, vows to fight NBA on sale of Los Angeles Clippers

"He was in a state of shock at first," lawyer says. "Now he's recovering and he's much more feisty."
By Evan Bleier Follow @itishowitis Contact the Author   |   Updated May 28, 2014 at 8:47 AM
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LOS ANGELES, May 28 (UPI) -- Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has changed his mind about selling his team and is now vowing to "fight to the bloody end" to keep the franchise.

Sterling's lawyer, Max Blecher, told ESPN his client has "disavowed" an agreement he reached with his estranged wife, Shelly Sterling, that would have let her negotiate a sale of the team.

"I don't know what agreement she has with him, but I'm saying to you today, he disavows anything she's doing to sell the team," Blecher said. "He says, 'It's my team, and I'll sell it when and if I get around to it.' He was in a state of shock at first. Now he's recovering and he's much more feisty."

Sterling was recorded making racist remarks about African Americans to his assistant/companion/lover V. Stiviano and the tape was leaked to TMZ. After the controversy that followed, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling from the league for life and fined him $2.5 million.

The NBA received a 32-page document from Sterling on Tuesday that declared his intention fight the sale of the team. "A jealous rant to a lover never intended to be published cannot offend the NBA rules," according to the document.

In the response, Sterling noted that he had received offers of more than $2.5 billion for the Clippers.

"This evening, the NBA received responses from Donald and Shelly Sterling to the charge to terminate the current ownership interests in the Los Angeles Clippers," NBA vice president Mike Bass said in a statement Tuesday night. "The NBA Board of Governors will meet on June 3 at 1 p.m. in New York City to hear and vote upon this matter. Should the Board vote to sustain the charge, the Sterlings' interests in the Clippers will be terminated and the team will be sold."

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