Testimony ends in Clippers’ sale trial
Shelly Sterling does not testify in trial of proposed $2 billion sale to Steve Ballmer.
Seattle Times news services
LOS ANGELES — Testimony ended Wednesday in the trial to determine whether Donald Sterling’s estranged wife can sell the Los Angeles Clippers in a proposed $2 billion deal with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
Shelly Sterling, who had testified early in the trial, was expected to be the final witness, but her husband’s lawyers decided not to call her back to the stand.
Instead, they called Dr. Jeffrey Cummings to discuss the protocol of examinations such as the ones given to Donald Sterling to determine his mental competency and ability to act as owner.
Most of his testimony drew objections from Shelly Sterling’s attorneys, and the judge said he didn’t see how it would help him reach a decision.
The trial will not be in session for the rest of the week. The two sides are scheduled to return for closing arguments on Monday.
Meanwhile, ESPN obtained a copy of documents from the Clippers’ bid book that show Ballmer’s $2 billion final bid is 12.1 times the expected 2014 revenues of the team.
Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas reminded Sterling’s lawyers that both sides had agreed not to make Donald Sterling’s mental capacity an issue in the trial.
Levanas said he was surprised when the lawyers made that move, and that he would have been interested in hearing about Donald Sterling’s mental competency.
Given that decision by lawyers, the judge rejected most of Cummings’ testimony and refused to receive the psychiatrist’s report submitted by the Sterling lawyers.
Outside court, attorneys for Shelly Sterling and Ballmer said that if they win, they will ask the judge to allow the sale to go through immediately despite any appeals that might be filed.
Sterling’s lawyers said they intend to seek an injunction to stop the sale if the judge rules against them. They have filed their own lawsuit in state court against Shelly Sterling, NBA commissioner Adam Silver and the league.
• Minnesota is weighing its options when it comes to trading All-Star Kevin Love, with Cleveland and Chicago both trying to land the versatile forward. But any talks are complicated by an NBA rule that requires a 30-day waiting period to trade any rookie that signs his contract. Talks have picked up again this week, with the Cavaliers coming off their resistance to including No. 1 overall pick Andrew Wiggins in an offer and making a trade with Utah on Tuesday to help make an acquisition easier to pull off.
• Dallas voided the contract of newly acquired forward Rashard Lewis when they found out Lewis, a former Sonic, needs to undergo surgery on his right knee. A 16-year veteran who turns 35 on Aug. 8, Lewis signed a one-year, $1.4 million contract with the Mavericks on Saturday. Dallas signed free-agent forward Al-Farouq Aminu on Wednesday.
• Dallas point guard Raymond Felton pleaded guilty in a New York gun case, taking a plea deal that involved admitting a felony but spares him jail.
• Clippers forward Matt Barnes is asking for the public’s help to track down the man police say killed his aunt in Northern California. Barnes took to his Twitter and Instagram accounts, asking anyone who knows the whereabouts of 51-year-old Michael Williams of Sacramento to call police.