DALLAS, Texas (105.3 THE FAN) – Donald Sterling issued a one-page statement dated Monday titled “The Team is not for Sale” and said that “from the onset, I did not want to sell the Los Angeles Clippers.”
But Sterling’s attempt to keep his grip on the team could ultimately lead to a revolt from a large number of NBA players that could delay the 2014-15 season.
Sterling’s inflammatory comments to then girlfriend V. Stiviano resulted in a storm of outrage from the public and players and even prompted President Barack Obama to comment on what he called Sterling’s “incredibly offensive racist statements.”
Former NBA star and current analyst Charles Barkley thinks it would be “very difficult on us players,” if Sterling remained connected to the team.
Sterling pulled his support from a deal to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and will pursue his $1 billion federal lawsuit against the NBA, his attorney said Monday.
“I have decided that I must fight to protect my rights,” Donald Sterling said. “While my position may not be popular, I believe that my rights to privacy and the preservation of my rights to due process should not be trampled. I love the team and have dedicated 33 years of my life to the organization. I intend to fight to keep the team.”
“Donald Sterling has to go,” Barkley told 105.3 The Fan. “We would have shut the season down next year if Donald Sterling was still the owner – and I think the commissioner understood that.”