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Originally published Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at 7:50 PM

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July trial set to determine Sterling’s competency

A trial will be held next month to determine whether Donald Sterling, who opposes his estranged wife’s planned sale of the Los Angeles Clippers, was properly removed as an administrator for the family trust that owns the team.

Seattle Times news services

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LOS ANGELES — A trial will be held next month to determine whether Donald Sterling, who opposes his estranged wife’s planned sale of the Los Angeles Clippers, was properly removed as an administrator for the family trust that owns the team.

A probate court judge in Los Angeles on Wednesday denied Shelly Sterling’s urgent request to confirm her authority as sole administrator of The Sterling Family Trust so that she can unilaterally proceed with a $2 billion sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Instead, the judge agreed to an expedited hearing because of looming sales deadlines.

The development is the latest in a legal tug-of-war after the NBA’s decision to ban Donald Sterling for life after racist remarks to a girlfriend were recorded and publicized. Donald Sterling is fighting the decision and suing the league for $1 billion.

The league has contended the comments were bad for business and damaged both the Clippers and the NBA.

The four-day trial will begin July 7. The deadline for the sale is July 15, which also is the date the NBA’s owners hope to vote on whether they will approve the sale. Court filings indicated the NBA has set a hard deadline of Sept. 15. If the sale isn’t completed then, the league will undertake proceedings to seize and sell the team on its own.

MIAMI — The Heat has been down in playoff series and the NBA Finals before so panic hasn’t set in yet. But the two-time champs sounded like a team in need of a visit from Dr. Phil.

Chris Bosh was angry after coach Erik Spoelstra’s lengthy film session that showed the defensive breakdowns in Tuesday’s 111-92 loss that gave the Spurs a 2-1 lead in the NBA Finals. Bosh used phrases like “lack of effort” and “lack of trust” and said it’s the worst this group has played together.

Everyone in Miami is concerned about point guard Mario Chalmers’ mental state. He is having a brutal series and it’s affecting his confidence.

Spoelstra said the Heat “didn’t show the necessary mental toughness” in Game 3. Spoelstra, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade all talked about having to “own” their mistakes and make immediate changes.

Game 4 is Thursday night in Miami, with Game 5 on Sunday in San Antonio.

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