Combative Donald Sterling takes stand in Clippers trial
Wednesday, July 09, 2014 - 02:00
Jul 08 - A combative session of testimony in Los Angeles as beleaguered NBA owner Donald Sterling takes the stand in Clippers trial. Phil Furey reports.
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L.A. Clippers co-owner Donald Sterling sparred with attorneys at a trial over the $2 billion sale of the NBA franchise.
Sterling repeatedly interrupted and shouted during testimony, saying he wants to keep the team for financial reasons.
The 80-year-old real estate billionaire said he was blocking the sale brokered by his wife to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer because he believed the team's value could be more than double the figure.
"I think we can get somewhere between $2.5 to $5 billion for that team," Sterling said, adding that rising television and media rights made the team more valuable to keep.
At issue in the trial is whether Shelly Sterling properly removed her husband as trustee after he was deemed by physicians to have early Alzheimer's disease and unable to handle business affairs.
Sterling, who cried at one point speaking about his wife, repeatedly said he trusted her but that she lacked the ability to run his holdings, including the Clippers.
"My wife can't learn anything," Sterling added. "She's beautiful and wonderful and intelligent, but she's never had the experience that I have."
Shelley Sterling's attorney Bert Fields said it was typical behavior.
SOUNDBITE: Bert Fields, saying (English):
It shows you the meanness of this guy and the hypocrisy that is all over this man. But the bottom line is what this guy did today was to show you the real Donald Sterling."
Donald Sterling's attorney, Bobby Samini, fired back.
SOUNDBITE: Bobby Samini, saying (English):
"I'm not going to coach him on how to give his testimony, he's a very accomplished lawyer, he knows what he's doing, he knows how to give testimony, as long as he comes out there and he gives truthful testimony under oath, however he cares to deliver it, that's up to him."
The NBA has said it could seize the Clippers and put the franchise up for auction if the deal is not approved by Sept. 15.
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