"I'm finished, I'm over," the 80-year-old real estate developer said when TMZ approached him outside his car in Beverly Hills this weekend. "Please."
Sterling officially lost control over the Clippers last week, after the closing of the $2 billion sale of the team from the Sterling Family Trust, overseen by Donald's wife Shelly Sterling, to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. The sale's completion came two weeks after a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled that Shelly Sterling had acted in accordance with the terms of the family trust in working to sell the team without her husband's consent after neurologists had declared him "mentally incapacitated."
Donald Sterling had fought the sale agreement in hopes of keeping the franchise he purchased for $12.5 million in 1981, but an appellate court rejected his petition to overturn the Superior Court's ruling and stop the transaction. A lawyer for Donald Sterling said last Friday that "no final decision" had yet been made on a potential appeal of the sale to the California Supreme Court, according to Nathan Fenno of the Los Angeles Times, but Sterling's representatives "appeared to concede the sale in a statement released [...] following the appellate court’s rejection, saying they were confident their client would be 'completely vindicated' in a federal antitrust lawsuit against the NBA."
The sale concluded a tumultuous four-month period sparked by the publication of audio recordings in which Donald Sterling — whose history of problematic racial attitudes and actions had long since been established — made racist remarks to V. Stiviano, whom he upbraided for “associating” with minorities, posting pictures she'd taken with black people on Instagram, and potentially bringing African-Americans — most notably former Los Angeles Lakers great and Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner Magic Johnson — to Clippers games. The remarks led NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to ban Sterling for life, fine him $2.5 million and begin the process of terminating his ownership of the Clippers under the league's constitution and bylaws.
Donald Sterling fought his ouster vigorously, publicly and absurdly in the months leading up to the Superior Court's evidently final determination; now, he says, he's "finished" and "over." What began with TMZ, it seems, ends with TMZ ... although you'll forgive us if we don't necessarily believe that we're completely rid of Donald Sterling just yet.
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