SAN ANTONIO - National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver said on Sunday that a single obstacle stood in the way of completing the $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers - a lawsuit brought by embattled owner Donald Sterling against the league.
Sterling, 80, sued the NBA and Silver on May 30 seeking at least $1 billion in damages just as the league tentatively approved a deal by his estranged wife, co-owner of the franchise, to sell the club to former Microsoft Corp chief executive Steve Ballmer.
Days later, Sterling's lawyer, Max Blecher, said his client had agreed to the sale and would withdraw the lawsuit. But Silver said the case was still pending and was holding up a final disposition of the deal.
"We're almost there. There is this last piece, and that is the lawsuit that Donald brought against the League and me personally," Silver told reporters before Game 2 of the NBA Finals in San Antonio.
Sterling was banned for life from the NBA in April after a tape recording of disparaging remarks he made about black people was leaked to the media, igniting an uproar among fans, players and commercial sponsors of his team.