A lawyer for embattled owner Donald Sterling of the National Basketball Association’s Los Angeles Clippers says his client has agreed to sell the team for an NBA-record $2 billion.
Maxwell Blecher said Wednesday that Sterling will sell the Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who agreed last week to buy the team for $2 billion through negotiations with Sterling’s wife, Shelly Sterling.
Blecher said Donald Sterling will also drop his $1 billion lawsuit against the NBA. Sterling had alleged the league violated his constitutional rights by forcing him to sell the Clippers based on a recording that was illegal under California law.
Segments from the private audio recording emerged in April. On it, Sterling made racist remarks about black people, telling a female companion not to bring African-Americans to Clippers games.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver responded by banning Sterling from the league for life and vowing to urge the other NBA owners to force Sterling to sell the Clippers. Silver also fined Sterling $2.5 million, the maximum allowed under NBA rules.
The NBA’s Board of Governors must approve the sale of the Clippers to Ballmer, who retired as Microsoft CEO in February. Sterling’s lawyers originally said he would not agree to last week’s deal to sell the team to Ballmer.
The 80-year-old Sterling, who bought the Clippers for $12 million in 1981, is the longest-tenured owner of any of the NBA’s 32 teams.