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SBD/June 2, 2014/Franchises
Donald Sterling Mulling Next Move, As Experts Call $1B Suit Against NBA "Baseless"
Published June 2, 2014
I'LL SUE YA: NBA Exec VP & General Counsel Rick Buchanan said, "Mr. Sterling's lawsuit is predictable, but entirely baseless." In L.A., Fenno, Bresnahan & Ryan noted the NBA's position "is the sale was not forced so Sterling's antitrust claims have no merit." But Buchanan said Sterling is "complaining about a set of facts that don't exist." Sterling's lawsuit "makes reference to Ballmer's bid but doesn't indicate the sale was made under duress, and that could have tax consequences." The federal tax code states that people who "sell property 'compulsorily or involuntarily' can be exempt from capital gains tax if they use the profits to replace what they were forced to sell" (L.A. TIMES, 5/31). ESPN.com's Lester Munson wrote Sterling's lawsuit "will be dismissed as soon as the NBA is able to file the necessary papers." However, Sterling "faces the prospect of paying the NBA's attorneys' fees and expenses in obtaining the dismissal." Munson wrote there is nothing that Sterling can do to stop the sale because NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and his lawyers "have performed at the highest level, anticipating every move that Sterling could make." They "have used the powers of the NBA constitution in ways they have never been used before, but they have done so with precision." Sterling "may have a legal claim against his wife, Shelly, but he would be well advised to calm down and accept his fate" (ESPN.com, 5/30).
TAKE MY WIFE, PLEASE! In L.A., Dakota Smith reported Rochelle Sterling's deal with Ballmer "contains an arrangement for her to stay involved with the team." A source said that she "pulled off a way to stay 'involved with the franchise.'" The source "declined to elaborate, but said the role would extend past simply attending games" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 5/31).