Despite his claims in that recent (and unfortunate) CNN interview that he didn't want to spend millions of dollars in court and would abide by what the NBA's owners asked him to do, Donald Sterling appears to be revving up to do exactly the opposite.
Sports Illustrated got its hands on a letter from Sterling's lawyer Maxwell Blecher, who is, according to his firm's website "renowned for his expertise in the antitrust field." In the letter, addressed to the NBA's executive vice president and general counsel Rick Buchanan, Blecher says Sterling is not going to pay that $2.5 million fine, that he did not violate the NBA's constitution, and that his due process rights were violated by the NBA.
Sports Illustrated notes that "Sterling contractually agreed to follow the NBA's system of justice," so he may not have much of a claim here. It also notes that a letter like this is often "a precursor to the filing of a lawsuit."
USA Today also got a peek at the letter, and says Blecher wrote that Sterling's racist comments weren't deserving of "any punishment at all." The paper notes that Blecher represented Sterling when he sued the NBA for $100 million after the league fined Sterling $25 million for moving the Clippers from San Diego to Los Angeles (Sterling dropped the suit when the NBA lowered the fine to $6 million).
Sterling chose his lawyer well. At the top of Blecher's list of legal accomplishments is his 1983 win over the NFL when it tried to stop the Raiders from moving from Los Angeles to Oakland.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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