NBA News Wire

Report: Sterling hiring investigators to examine NBA practices

Attorneys for former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling are hiring private investigators to dig up dirt on NBA commissioner Adam Silver, former commissioner David Stern and the league’s owners, the Associated Press reported Friday.

According to the report, investigators were given a six-figure budget over the next 30 days to look into the NBA’s finances, allegations of previous discrimination and compensation to Silver and Stern. They are also reportedly examining if other owners made any off-color jokes, or racist or sexist remarks.

“The gloves are off, as they say,” a source told the AP. “Have them dig up all the dirt they can find.”

The NBA banned Sterling for life, fined him $2.5 million and forced him to sell the Clippers for making racist remarks. He agreed to sell the team but is suing the league over the ban and fine. His wife, Shelly, was given authority to sell 100 percent of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Sterling reluctantly agreed to hire investigators following this week’s legal proceedings in a probate court. The NBA submitted a legal filing on Wednesday requesting a judge to confirm Shelly Sterling’s authority to sell the team.

“He realized these guys will literally go to any low to get this sold,” the source said. “Even if it gets (him) nothing other than exposing all these guys and shaking up the league and seeing a change in the leadership of the league, it’ll be worth it to him.”

Four investigative firms will audition for the job.

“Whoever delivers the best (material) is going to stay on for the next round and it might be all four of them,” the source said. … “Twenty-nine owners is not a small undertaking.”

The sale of the team is in limbo as the couple is fighting over control of the Sterling Family Trust. If it is ruled in July that Donald Sterling is mentally incapacitated and Shelly Sterling had the legal authority to become the sole trustee, the NBA will proceed with a vote on the sale on July 15. A leaked court document filed by Shelly Sterling’s attorneys demonstrates that Donald Sterling could not spell “world” backwards and was unable to correctly number a clock.