The NBA countersued former Clippers owner Donald Sterling and the Sterling Family Trust on Monday, arguing the high-profile spectacle over Sterling's racist comments and the resulting sale of the team hurt the league.
In its response to the antitrust lawsuit Sterling filed in June, the league asked the court to enforce an indemnification of the NBA for losses incurred as a result of the leaked recording of Sterling making discriminatory comments about minorities and the subsequent legal wrangling to remove him as an owner of an NBA team.
Sterling was fined $2.5 million and banned for life from any association with the Clippers or the NBA. He susequently agreed to a sale before reversing course and fighting his wife Shelly in court to block any deal to divest of the Clippers.
“This matter has caused devastating and incalculable harm to the NBA and its teams, as well as sparked an intensely adverse public reaction,” the claims reads.
The NBA's suit asks for compensation foor costs incurred while investigating the recording of Donald Sterling’s discriminatory statements, the cost of enforcing its ban and the legal costs of the lawsuit.
The response also argues that because Donald Sterling was removed from the Sterling Family Trust by his wife Shelly as part of the saga to sell the Clippers, he no longer has any interest in the company that technically owned the team, and therefore cannot sue on its behalf.
The league also used the claim to continue to distance itself from Sterling's statements recorded by then-companion V. Stiviano.
"Mr. Sterling's discriminatory views toward African Americans and 'minorities' in general, as well as his demands of a female acquainance that she not associate publicly with African Americans or 'minorities,' or bring them to Clippers' games, are antithetical to the [NBA's] most basic values, principles, and purposes," the league said in its suit.
The NBA announced Tuesday that the sale of the Clippers to former Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer has been completed.