Thursday, May 1, 2014

NBA Lacks Authority to Force Donald Sterling to Sell the Clippers

By Clay Travis

A close examination of the NBA's bylaws raises serious questions about whether the NBA has the legal authority to strip Donald Sterling's ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers and force a sale of the franchise. Indeed, when you examine all of the relevant bylaws relating to termination of a franchise interest, I don't believe the NBA has the legal authority to take away Sterling's team and force the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers franchise.

Let me show you why.

Read the rest here.


  1. This is ESPN's legal analysis:

    Munson claims that if 3/4 of the owners vote to terminate, that decision would be binding and almost certainly couldn't be overturned in court.

  2. The Fox analysis seems more compelling than does the ESPN analysis (thanks to the "Bobs," cheddar and otherwise).

    This is going to be fun - Sterling doesn't seem to be the type to go away quietly.

  3. I took a look at the link mentioned by CheddarBob. In it, Lester Munson writes:

    Q: Sterling is notoriously litigious. Can he go to court to stop Silver from punishing him?

    A: Not effectively. When Silver issues his punishment to Sterling, the decision is final. The constitution provides in Paragraph 24(m) that a commissioner's decision shall be "final, binding, and conclusive" and shall be as final as an award of arbitration. It is almost impossible to find a judge in the United States judicial system who would set aside an award of arbitration. Sterling can file a lawsuit, but he would face a humiliating defeat early in the process.

    That is incredibly short-sighted analysis by Mr. Munson. The Commissioner's word is final according to the NBA Charter, but that very Charter limits the Commissioner's ability.

    As Clay Travis' article clearly shows, the Charter requires that the NBA prove that Sterling has violated one of the sections of Article 13. If the league and the owners don't do this, then any vote that they take to terminate Sterling's ownership is a simple breach of contract.

    If all the prerequisites have been met, then there is nothing Sterling can do. Sterling, however, will claim that all the prerequisites have not been met.

    I think that Sterling is going to win that argument.

    Everyone says this Adam Silver guy is really smart. Well, he is either brilliant, or he is a fool. He is brilliant if he knew that he had no leg to stand on, but banned him anyway just to take a tough stance and to keep public and social pressure on his side. He is a fool if he did not realize that he was going outside of the limitations imposed by the Charter. He might also be considered a fool if Sterling sues him in his (Silver's) individual capacity. I am not sure that anything Silver has personally done has been legally actionable. But, Sterling and his attorneys are going to aggressively attack the league and anyone who acts against Sterling.

    This stuff is better than the actual sport.

  4. Yeah, but what are the chances that they held off presenting this (or any) tape until Stern stepped down? Considering how horribly Silver handled it, they had to have known they would get the reaction out of him that they wanted.

    Did they like Stern enough to not hurt his legacy? Didn't think it would go over well if Stern was in office because Stern knew how to handle such things better versus the putz that is now in office? Did Stern knew about this and persuaded them to hold off?

  5. "He is brilliant if he knew that he had no leg to stand on, but banned him anyway just to take a tough stance and to keep public and social pressure on his side."

    I think this is almost certainly the case. This is all about PR for Silver. He has to appear as if he's "being tough" and "doing everything he can." When he inevitably loses this case, he can shrug his shoulders and blame the American legal system for condoning racism or whatever. But the ignorant masses will worship him as someone who tried to "get tough" and "do the right thing."