The Los Angeles Clippers’ long, painful partnership with Donald Sterling was officially splintered on Monday with the bang of a gavel in the 2nd District Court of Appeal. In response to Sterling’s appeal of a 2014 ruling that paved the way for Steve Ballmer to take the reigns of the franchise, the court claimed Monday that Sterling’s legal team “fail[ed] to demonstrate” that there was “any legal error” in last year’s verdict. Mercifully, this decision sets one thing in stone: Donald Sterling will never own the Clippers again.
"He has devoted most of his briefs to rearguing the facts and relies on evidence expressly rejected by the probate court [last year]," Monday’s opinion read.
Sterling was removed from ownership in the spring of 2014, after TMZ released a tape of the then 80-year-old making a series of racist comments, including telling girlfriend V. Stiviano that it “bothers” him that she “associat[es] with black people.” Sterling’s remarks sparked outrage around the NBA, leading commissioner Adam Silver to permanently bar him from the league. A legal battle ensued, and after multiple doctors found Sterling to be exhibiting "signs of Alzheimer's," control of the team passed into the hands of his wife, Shelly. Shelly sold the team for a record $2 billion to Steve Ballmer, earning both Sterling’s praise and his ire, and marking the transaction he later went to court to appeal.
Per The Associated Press, Monday’s ruling emphasized that Sterling was “properly removed” from the family trust, and that Shelly’s choice to sell the franchise when she did prevented it from experiencing an “‘extraordinary loss.’”
This final fissure between team and ex-owner is surely welcomed by a Clippers franchise that has been shadowed for years by his seedy actions and offensive stances. Good riddance, Donald Sterling. Your claims to ownership are now as mistaken and antiquated as your racist remarks.
Also on HuffPost: