TIME NBA

Sterling Lawyer Denies Reports He’s Mentally Incompetent

Donald Sterling, V. Stiviano
Donald Sterling watches the Clippers play the Los Angeles Lakers during an NBA preseason basketball game in Los Angeles on Dec. 19, 2011 Danny Moloshok—AP

The Los Angeles Clippers owner's wife Shelly, who agreed to sell the team to Steve Ballmer on Thursday for $2 billion, has reportedly said he's incapable of making the decision

A lawyer for the Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling said Friday that reports Sterling is mentally incompetent are “absurd.”

Sterling’s wife Shelly agreed on Thursday to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. She has reportedly said her husband, who has previously opposed a sale, was not capable of making the decision, as ESPN reported on Thursday, citing unnamed sources. Earlier this month, she said on the Today show that she believes her husband has dementia. CNN cited unnamed sources Friday in reporting that doctors had declared Sterling mentally incompetent.

The league has pressured Donald Sterling to sell since a recording of him making racist comments surfaced last month. The NBA has already banned Sterling for life, and a meeting of the NBA Board of Governors to determine whether to end his ownership is scheduled for Tuesday.

His lawyer, Maxwell Blecher, told the Los Angeles Times that he wasn’t sure if Donald Sterling will challenge the sale in court.

“That decision hasn’t been made,” he told the Times.

The back and forth came amid reports that Sterling is planning a $1 billion lawsuit against the NBA, though the status of talks between the owner and the league were unclear as of late Friday.

[Los Angeles Times]

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