LOS ANGELES (AP) — The proposed $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers is now in nobody’s court.
With a deadline looming next week to approve the deal, a judge on Thursday delayed the next hearing. But lawyers said a deadline extension was probable.
Lawyers for disgraced team owner Donald Sterling told the judge more witness testimony was necessary but they could not return until July 21 because of personal plans.
So Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas put off the next hearing and scheduled further sessions that will culminate with closing arguments on July 28.
The fate of the Clippers is actually up to the NBA, which has banned Sterling from the league for life for making racist statements and has indicated it could seize and auction the team if a sale isn’t completed by Sept. 15.
Sterling’s wife, Shelly Sterling, testified Thursday that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told her several weeks ago that he would consider reducing her husband’s lifetime ban to a single year if he agreed to sell.
Sterling had seemed eager to find a buyer earlier this year but later turned against the idea, she said.
Sterling has now vowed he’ll never sell and is suing to block his wife’s single-handed deal to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.
Shelly Sterling said she feared players wouldn’t play and sponsors would boycott if her husband held on to the team and that she kept Sterling informed of her search for a buyer.
“Every day, he would ask me, ‘Who did you interview? What did they offer?'” she said.
Ballmer’s offer — which would be a record for an NBA team — was the highest of four offers she obtained.
“I thought it was fabulous,” she said, adding that she also personally liked Ballmer and even would have accepted a lower offer.
After hearing the offer, Sterling told her “he was very happy and proud of me,” Shelly Sterling said.
But when it came to signing off on the deal at the end of May, everything changed.
“He started screaming and cursing at me,” she said. “He said he’s not going to sell the team. He’s going to sue the league.”
In earlier testimony, two doctors hired by Mrs. Sterling to examine him declared that the 80-year-old had Alzheimer’s disease and was mentally incapable to continue acting as administrator of the family trust that owns the Clippers.
On the witness stand, Shelly Sterling denied that she hired the doctors because she was concerned about her husband’s mental state and not because she wanted him removed as a trustee so she could make a deal.
“I had in mind my husband’s welfare,” she said.
When she left the witness stand, Shelly Sterling walked over to her husband’s lawyer, Maxwell Blecher, who had been aggressively cross-examining her, and she hugged him. They both had acknowledged during testimony that they had known each other for at least 30 years.
The current deadline for Ballmer’s offer is next Tuesday, although his attorney, Adam Streisand, said outside court that there’s a provision to extend that date to Aug. 15 as long as progress is being made in court.
However, next Tuesday also is the day that the NBA is supposed to vote on Ballmer’s offer — and there is no deal without the judge’s approval of the sale.
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(Photo Source: AP)
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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