Donald Sterling said he would "never ever" sell the L.A. Clippers. The 80-year-old businessman appeared in court on Wednesday, July 9 for a trial which will decide whether his wife Shelly has the right to sell the club. The court session, however, took place in heated atmosphere.
According to USA Today, Sterling called his estranged wife "pig" after she testified, which was mostly about his mental health. When she was on her way to her seat, Sterling told her, "Stay away from me, you pig." Judge Michael Levanas then told him, "Please don't make any comments about your wife. That's somewhat disturbing."
The dramatic court meeting stemmed from a racism scandal which hit Sterling earlier this year. The NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver then ordered him to pay a fine and sell the club. Claiming that her husband was mentally incapacitated, Shelly tried to sell the club and found someone who was interested to buy it for $2 billion. That person is the former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Sterling's camp, however, insists that he is not ill and that he doesn't want to sell the franchise.
Sterling testified on Wednesday, saying that the NBA "is the worst corporation in America, and everyone will find out how terrible and dishonest they are. ... I will never ever ever sell this team. Until I die I will be suing the NBA." He also told the court that he felt defrauded by his wife's attempt to remove him as a co-trustee of the Sterling Family Trust.
"She deceived me. I trusted her. I believed in her. I never thought a woman wouldn't stand by her husband," he was quoted as saying. "She has no rights whatsoever. She may be a trustee. But she has no stock. She has no authority to make any decision to sell. All of that will come out."
On July 15, NBA owners will also vote on the Ballmer deal. Ballmer's offer to buy the team is set to expire on that date. No sale can be made unless the court approves it. If there is no deal completed by September 15, the NBA will put the club on auction.