NEW YORK (The Deal) -- Donald Sterling, the embattled owner of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball franchise, has decided to push forward with a $1 billion lawsuit against the National Basketball Association and not pursue a $2 billion sale to former Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer.
"From the onset, I did not want to sell the Los Angeles Clippers," Sterling said in a statement he issued Monday night. "I have worked for 33 years to build the Team."
The announcement comes eleven days after Sterling's wife, Shelley, said on May 30 that she had reached an agreement to sell LAC Basketball Club Inc., the Clippers' corporate parent, to Ballmer for a record price.
While Donald Sterling initially signed off on the sale, telling a local California television station that he wanted to "move on," the 80-year-old former personal injury attorney turned real estate mogul has reversed field and decided to push forward with the lawsuit, which was lodged in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles.
Donald Sterling is seeking $1 billion in damages and is insisting that the league-forced sale of the team is not providing his trust fair market value for the club.
The sale of the team was sparked by the release of taped statements made by Donald Sterling to V. Stiviano in mid-April which has led Sterling to be widely criticized for being a racist.
Action from the league was swift, with NBA commissioner Adam Silver on April 29 imposing a lifetime ban from the league and a $2.5 million fine on Sterling.