SI.com has learned that Clippers owner Donald Sterling has hired prominent antitrust litigator Maxwell Blecher, who has written a letter to NBA executive vice president and general counsel Rick Buchanan threatening to sue the NBA. The letter, sources tell SI.com, claims that Sterling has done nothing wrong and that “no punishment is warranted” for Sterling. Blecher also tells Buchanan that Sterling will not pay the $2.5 million fine, which is already past due. Blecher ends the letter by saying this controversy “will be adjudicated.”
Blecher’s letter makes clear what many have anticipated: Donald Sterling will not go down without a fight and that he is taking active steps toward litigation. A letter of this type is considered a precursor to the filing of a lawsuit. Blecher’s letter offers no ambiguity about Sterling’s intentions.
“We reject your demand for payment,” the letter tells Buchanan, who on May 14 informed Sterling by letter that he must pay the $2.5 million fine.
Report: Bulls’ Mirotic, Portis Involved in Serious Practice Altercation
Chicago Bulls forwards Nikola Mirotic and Bobby Portis engaged in a physical altercation in practice Tuesday that resulted in Mirotic being hospitalized and sidelined indefinitely, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Mirotic was taken to the hospital Tuesday after their shoving altercation during practice ended with an alleged cheap shot from Portis to Mirotic’s face, league sources told The Vertical.
In practice scuffle with Bobby Portis in Bulls practice, Nikola Mirotic suffered a fractured bone in his face, league source tells ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 17, 2017
Source: Shams Charania of The Vertical
Sources: Spurs, LaMarcus Aldridge Agree on Extension
San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge has reached agreement on a contract extension, league sources tell ESPN. The deal includes a partial guarantee in the third year.
Spurs’ LaMarcus Aldridge has reached agreement on a three-year, $72.3M contract extension, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 16, 2017
Source: Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN
LeBron James Still Uncertain for Season Opener
LeBron James tested his injured left ankle during a portion of practice Sunday, but it’s still not known if he’ll play in Cleveland’s season opener.
James has been slowed since spraining his ankle in practice on Sept. 27. The three-time NBA champion sat out the Cavaliers’ first three exhibition games before making his debut last week against Chicago. He played 30 minutes but may have aggravated his ankle while making a spin move in the loss.
Source: USA Today Sports