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 (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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