denies Donald Sterling's bid to halt $2 billion Clippers sale
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[August 09, 2014]
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A California
appeals court on Friday rejected on procedural grounds an attempt by
disgraced Los Angeles Clippers co-owner Donald Sterling to have the $2
billion sale of the NBA team put on hold until his appeal can be heard,
his attorneys said.
In denying Sterling's latest attempt to block the sale brokered
by his estranged wife, Shelly Sterling, to former Microsoft Corp
chief executive Steve Ballmer, the court said there was nothing for
it to review at this time, according to an order posted on the
website of the state appeals court.
Sterling's attorneys said they filed their request for an injunction
after Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas
prematurely finalized his tentative ruling from last month allowing
Shelly Sterling, 79, to consummate the NBA-record sale. Levanas has
found she had the power and fiduciary duty to complete the deal with
Levanas on Friday vacated his finalized ruling, Sterling's attorneys
said in a statement. He will not issue that decision until next week
to allow Sterling's attorneys time to raise their objections with
his decision. If his ruling remains the same, the attorneys said
they plan to ask for the injunction again with a California appeals
Lawyers for the 80-year-old real estate billionaire, who has been
banned for life by the NBA for racist remarks, say Levanas, a
probate judge, ruled too broadly in allowing the Clippers sale to
move forward pending Donald Sterling's own appeal.
The all-cash deal is set to be completed by Aug. 15, ahead of the
NBA's Sept. 15 deadline. The league has said it could confiscate the
franchise and sell it at auction if the sale is not completed by
Shelly Sterling struck the deal with Ballmer in May, a month after
the NBA banned her husband after his privately taped remarks
imploring a girlfriend not to publicly associate with black people
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Sterling's remarks during the Clippers' playoff run sparked public outrage
and prompted sponsors to cut ties with the team.
The team's interim chief executive, Richard Parsons, testified at the
probate trial that head coach Doc Rivers was ready to quit if Sterling
still owned the team and players would do the same.
Sterling, who initially blessed the deal to Ballmer, has said he wants
to hold onto the team on principle and that he believes it is worth much
more than $2 billion.
(Reporting by Eric Kelsey,; Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and Jeremy
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