Banned Clippers owner Donald Sterling was "found to be mentally incapacitated" by neurologists earlier in May, as first reported by ESPN's Ramona Shelburne and Darren Rovell. Citing unnamed sources, ESPN reported on Thursday that the neurologists' evaluation of Donald Sterling allowed his wife, Shelly, to become the sole trustee of the family trust and empowered her to negotiate a sale of the Clippers without his approval.
Espn has learned that experts had declared Donald Sterling mentally incapacitated, leaving Shelly as sole trustee & power to sell the team
Acting as sole trustee, Shelly Sterling reached an agreement to sell the Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer that was announced on Thursday evening. In response to the $2 billion agreement, an attorney for Donald Sterling argued that the 80-year-old still needed to give his approval for the deal to be completed.
"[Donald] Sterling is not selling the team," attorney Bobby Samini told the Associated Press. "That's his position. He's not going to sell."
Another attorney for Donald Sterling, Max Blecher, reached out to ESPN to say that his client is "far from mentally incompetent."
Donald Sterling's lawyer Max Blecher says in an e-mail, " Mr. Sterling is far from mentally incompetent."
Blecher said he was aware of the evaluations of Mr. Sterling this month, but called the results "grossly exaggerated"
Not long after Shelburne reported on the email she had received from Blecher, CNN similarly reported that doctors had questioned Donald Sterling's mental state.
CNN JUST IN: Donald Sterling deemed mentally incapacitated by two doctors -@BrianToddCNN
— Vaughn Sterling (@vplus) May 30, 2014
TMZ Sports later reported that Sterling has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. According to TMZ Sports citing anonymous sources, Sterling may have had the disease for up to five years.
Sterling was banned from the NBA for life by league commissioner Adam Silver after a recording of him making racists comments was made public.