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SBD/July 11, 2014/Franchises
Shelly Sterling's Attorneys Rest Their Case; Timetable Could Hinder Sale To Ballmer
Published July 11, 2014
FLIP FLOP? FOXSPORTS.com's Kevin Vaughan wrote yesterday's testimony "featured no fireworks -- only sparks" -- as Shelly Sterling repeatedly insisted that she was "not part of any secret plot to wrest the team away and sell it." She "portrayed her husband as being initially supportive of her efforts to sell the team" (FOXSPORTS.com, 7/10). She said her husband "asked her to sell the Clippers when it became apparent the NBA was going to take control of the team." Shelly Sterling: "I never thought he would sue me for doing something he asked me to do. I never thought this would happen." She added of her husband possibly remaining owner, "My fear was players wouldn't play. They would sit down and have a strike. Sponsors wouldn't sponsor. It would decimate the team. There would be no team left" (ESPNLA.com, 7/11).
BITS AND PIECES: Other notes from yesterday's testimony: Shelly Sterling added that she asked Silver whether they "could negotiate an arrangement that would allow her" to keep 50% interest in the team "or perhaps a smaller percentage, while selling a controlling interest." The commissioner "wasn't interested." She testified that Silver said, "If you can deliver 100 percent of the team, we can negotiate." She added that she "interviewed about three to five bidders at the Sterlings' Malibu home, and she spent about 12 hours interviewing the bidders." Ballmer's $1.9B bid "topped those from groups led by music mogul David Geffen and L.A. investors Tony Ressler and Bruce Karsh" (ESPNLA.com, 7/11). Sterling claimed she told her husband that she "wouldn't be able to retain any ownership in the team," but that Ballmer had "offered to give her certain perks, 'almost more perks than I had as an owner'" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/11).
WHAT'S NEXT: USA TODAY's David Leon Moore reports Levanas "set closing arguments for July 28." though it is "unknown how long Levanas will take to make a ruling." He "told the attorneys to focus on three issues going forward" in the trial. First, "did Shelly properly comply with the terms of the trust in having Donald removed as a co-trustee, or was Donald defrauded by Shelly and/or two doctors who examined him?" Second, "after Donald Sterling exercised his right to revoke the trust agreement June 9, did Shelly have the legal right to go ahead with the sale of the Clippers?" Third, if the first two go in Shelly Sterling's favor, "does the judge have the right to make an order that is basically unappealable?" (USA TODAY, 7/11). SI.com's Michael McCann wrote under the header, "How Does Sterling Trial's Inability To Finish On Time Impact Ballmer Deal?" (SI.com, 7/10).