A lot of people are talking about Donald Sterling’s interview with Anderson Cooper right now, and rightfully so. Sterling’s racist comments and subsequent ban from the NBA is one of the biggest stories in sports right now, and this interview marks the first time he’s been in the public eye since the ordeal started.
Most reports and blogs are talking about Sterling denying he is a racist in the interview. He told Cooper that he was baited into making his statements on minorities, and said he didn’t know why “the girl had him say those things.”
But Sterling made another big statement in the interview that isn’t receiving quite as much attention today. He told Cooper that he doesn't see a point in him taking the NBA to court if the owners decide to force a sale of the Clippers.
“There is a path for you to fight their decision, isn’t there?” Cooper asks.
“Of course,” Sterling responds. “But if I fight with my partners, what – at the end of the road – do I benefit? Especially at my age. If they fight with me and they spend millions and I spend millions, let’s say they win or I win… I just don’t know if that’s important.”
Ever since NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced the league would ban Sterling and force a sale of his team, people have speculated that Sterling would fight the league’s choice in court. Now, from the mouth of Sterling himself, we hear he probably won’t do that.
The NBA also announced yesterday that under the leagues constitution, all of a team’s ownership partners lose rights to a team during a force sale. So if – or when – the league forces the Clippers out of Sterling’s hands, his estranged wife will lose her rights to the team as well. Shelly Sterling previously said she would fight to take over ownership of the Clippers, but it appears the league’s constitution will prevent this from happening. Here is the league’s statement on the matter:
"Under the NBA Constitution, if a controlling owner's interest is terminated by a 3/4 vote, all other team owners' interests are automatically terminated as well. It doesn't matter whether the owners are related as is the case here. These are the rules to which all NBA owners agreed to as a condition of owning their team."
It looks like it’s just a matter of time until all of the Sterlings are out of the league for good.
Here's an extended clip of Sterling's interview with Cooper: