Clippers owner Donald Sterling will not go away without a fight! The disgraced team owner is refusing to pay his fine to the NBA and has threaten to sue. Sterling was banned from the NBA for life on April 29 and fined $2.5 million for his racist comment that was recorded by his “mistress.”
Sports Illustrated is reporting that Sterling’s attorney, prominent antitrust lawyer Maxwell Blecher, sent a letter to the NBA’s executive vice president Rick Buchanan stating that Sterling has done nothing wrong and “no punishment is warranted” against him.
“We reject your demand for payment,” the letter tells Buchanan, who on May 14 informed Sterling by letter that he must pay the $2.5 million fine. Blecher claims that Sterling has not violated any article of the NBA constitution. Blecher argues that Sterling’s “due process rights” have been violated by the NBA. A due process claim may sound superficially reasonable. After all, Sterling was banned permanently from the NBA after a mere four-day investigation, without any formal proceedings. If the NBA were a federal agency or a state college, Sterling might have a good argument, as those are public entities that must provide safeguards found under the U.S. Constitution and state constitutions.