Report: Donald Sterling declared 'mentally incapacitated', Shelly Sterling becomes sole trustee

by May 29, 11:15 PM

With Thursday's reported agreement for a sale of the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, many were left to wonder what would come next in the process, as Donald Sterling loomed as a threat to the proceedings.

That may no longer be a concern, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

Said differently, experts have deemed Donald Sterling unfit to handle the family trust, which owns the Los Angeles Clippers. As such, Shelly Sterling becomes the sole trustee, which has allowed her - along with previously written permission from Donald, which he later disavowed - to sell the team.

The sale, as detailed in the story linked above, has been sent directly to the NBA for approval, and the sale does not require Donald Sterling's signature.

His first legal recourse would now reportedly be to contest Shelly Sterling getting sole power of the trust, not a move against the NBA.

The league has a Board of Governors hearing scheduled for June 3 that was originally set to deal with the audio recordings of Donald Sterling making racist remarks, which led to his being banned from the NBA and commissioner Adam Silver recommending the owners vote to remove him as owner of the Clippers. It is unclear at present if that hearing can now be cancelled or if it will be repurposed to approve Ballmer as an owner.

May 30, 4:26 PM

Report: Donald Sterling has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease

by May 30, 4:26 PM

Late Thursday, it was revealed that Shelly Sterling was able to sell the Los Angeles Clippers due to Donald Sterling being declared mentally incapacitated, making her the sole trustee of the family trust that owns the team.

Now, reports have a bit more specificity as to said mental incapacitation - Donald Sterling has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, something he  "probably" had for three to five years.

According to reports from ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, Shelly Sterling was aware of this "for some time" but she and her advisers did not want to use it as a means of making her the sole trustee unless they had to. When Donald Sterling tried to disavow a written agreement allowing her to sell the team, her camp went with that approach.

As detailed in the post below, Donald Sterling's lawyer Max Blecher suggested the diagnosis is a "vast overstatement" and they are considering what to do next.

Most importantly for the NBA, however, is that any contention Donald Sterling has will now need to be settled with his wife, not the league.

Feature photo courtesy of Kirby Lee / USA Today Sports

May 30, 2:16 PM

Lawyer: Donald Sterling is 'far from mentally incompetent'

by May 30, 2:16 PM

Max Blecher, the lawyer for Donald Sterling, disputes a report that the embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner has been declared mentally unfit to handle the family trust. 

According to ESPN, Sterling was evaluated by neurologists in early May. 

On Thursday, Sterling's wife, Shelly Sterling, issued a statement announcing that she had reached a deal with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to purchase the Clippers for $2 billion. 

Shelly Sterling said she made the deal "under her authority as the sole trustee of The Sterling Family Trust, which owns the Clippers."

The NBA confirmed Friday that a deal has been reached, but said it is waiting for proper documentation.