"Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling does not have the authority to stop a $2 billion sale of his team because he has been determined to be mentally unfit to make decisions related to the family trust, a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports," reports USA Today.
The story reports: "The Sterling Family Trust owns the team, with Donald and his wife Shelly each owning a 50% share. The trust spells out provisions and procedures related to the mental capacity of the trustees, and Donald Sterling did not meet the standard in a determination by experts, giving his wife sole decision-making power for the trust, the person said."
Earlier, ESPN's Ramona Shelburne had tweeted, "Espn has learned that experts had declared Donald Sterling mentally incapacitated, leaving Shelly as sole trustee & power to sell the team."
Adds the USA Today story, "Shelly Sterling reached a deal Thursday [May 29, 2014] with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to sell the Clippers for a record $2 billion. The contract was sent to the NBA for approval a few days before the league's Board of Governors was set to vote on whether to terminate the Sterlings' ownership of the team."
The USA Today article also notes, "Donald Sterling's attorneys didn't return calls Thursday night from USA TODAY Sports. After Sterling authorized his wife in writing last week to sell the team on his behalf, his attorney this week said he had reversed course, did not want to sell and instead wanted to fight the NBA, which banned him for life on April 29."
Ballmer, who previously had made a bid for the Sacramento Kings professional basketball team with the intention of moving them to the Seattle area where he lives, has said he will keep the Clippers in Los Angeles.
A little after 1 a.m. PT today — Friday, May 30, 2014 — ESPN's Shelburne tweeted, "All involved in sale to Ballmer are prepared for a legal challenge from Donald, sources said, but believe they'll ultimately prevail."