Latest News / Jun 11, 2014 / 2:15 pm

NBA Could Still Have Termination Hearing On Donald Sterling

Billy Crystal, Donald Sterling

Billy Crystal, Donald Sterling (Kirby Lee- USA TODAY Sports)

By now, we’ve learned to not assume anything in the Donald Sterling controversy. On Monday, Sterling changed his mind and decided to proceed with his lawsuit against the NBA. Because of this new development, the league might have an owner termination hearing after all.

Via David Aldridge of NBA.com, Shelly Sterling is taking another step today towards finalizing the sale of the Clippers:

The latest turn in this seemingly endless soap opera came as Sterling’s wife, Shelly Sterling, plans to go to court in Los Angeles on Wednesday morning at 8:30 to try and get an expedited probate hearing before a judge seeking affirmation that Shelly Sterling acted legally and properly late last month in determining that Donald Sterling was mentally incapacitated, and thus unable to continue his role as co-trustee of the Sterling Family Trust, which owns the Clippers and other properties that the Sterlings have acquired over the years.

Sterling’s attorney, Maxwell Blecher, said Tuesday that his client would challenge the finding that Shelly Sterling is the trust’s sole trustee, but said he would not be taking legal action against his wife.

In order to be reinstated as a co-trustee of the Family Trust, Donald Sterling will need to undergo neurological testing and be cleared by physicians as someone who is mentally competent, an issue shrouded in doubt by some.

If that is the case, Donald Sterling would be considered owner of the Clippers again, which means the league would need to reinstate the ownership termination hearing originally scheduled for June 3rd. The hearing was cancelled after Shelly Sterling was able to take control of the team and oversee the sale of the Clippers to Steve Ballmer. With the sale of the team, there was no need for owners to vote on whether to remove Donald Sterling from the Clippers.

But now, with Sterling potentially forcing himself back into the picture, the league will need to retrace its steps. If the termination hearing does happen, commissioner Adam Silver will need two-thirds of the owners to vote out Sterling.

This is far from being over, and we certainly can’t rule out the potential of Sterling changing his mind yet again.

What do you think?

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