How did Donald Sterling do on the witness stand? It depends on who you ask at ESPN.
Sterling talking in circles, doesn’t understand questions, challenging Fields to ”stand up and be a man”…no longer funny, just sad
— Bill Plaschke (@BillPlaschke) July 8, 2014
Donald Sterling is very sharp on the stand. He’s a lawyer, and knows exactly what’s being asked of him. He’s picking apart every Q
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 8, 2014
The octogenarian owner of the Los Angeles Clippers took the stand on Tuesday to protest his wife’s sale of his NBA franchise to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Shelly Sterling sold the team after two doctors declared her husband incapacitated. Sterling’s case hinges on proving the diagnoses preposterous, so whether the judge finds him “sad” like Plaschke or “sharp” like Shelburne may matter a great deal.
While he praised his wife as so gentle as to not hurt a fly, Sterling ridiculed her attorney.
Along with the lawyers, Sterling attacked the doctors. “I have five corporations,” the plaintiff noted. “I run them every single day. You can call me whatever you want, but those two doctors shouldn’t be [practicing medicine]. You told them to find something wrong so you can sell the team.”
Sterling’s ownership of the Clippers became a thorn in the side of the NBA once V. Stiviano released audio of phone conversations in which the billionaire advised his mistress to avoid posting pictures online of herself with African Americans and not to accompany black people to Clippers games. On April 29, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling and issued a $2.5 million fine against him. “Effective immediately,” the fledgling commissioner announced, “I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers organization or the NBA.”
Donald Sterling returns to the stand on Wednesday. Steve Ballmer’s $2 billion offer remains on the table until July 15.