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Donald Sterling will sue NBA after all

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The attorney for Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling said Monday his client has instructed him to pursue a $1 billion lawsuit against the NBA and commissioner Adam Silver, and withdraw his support for the sale of the team negotiated by his wife.

“The deal is off,” Max Blecher wrote in an email.

Last week, both Sterling and Blecher indicated publicly that they would accept the record $2 billion sale to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

However, Sterling apparently has changed his mind since then. Whether he will be successful in this new challenge remains to be seen.

Blecher declined Monday to comment on whether the NBA’s refusal to drop Sterling’s lifetime ban and $2.5 million fine is the impetus for his change of heart.

Meanwhile, Shelly Sterling, Ballmer and the league remain confident the sale will proceed.

“Nobody doubts this thing will go through in the end. I guess it’s just a matter of what mood Donald wakes up in tomorrow,” one source close to the situation said.

Shelly Sterling indemnified the NBA from damages in future lawsuits from her estranged husband as part of the sale agreement with the NBA. She negotiated the sale as the sole trustee of the Sterling family trust, which owns LA Clippers LLC, after two neurologists had declared Donald Sterling unable to conduct his own business and legal affairs.

The provisions of the family trust did not require a court order. To challenge her authority to conduct the sale, Donald Sterling would have to challenge her in California probate court, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

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