Embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling said on Monday the basketball franchise was not for sale and he would fight to keep the team he built, in the latest salvo of his battle with the league.
Sterling was banned for life by the National Basketball Association in April over a leaked recording of racist remarks he made.
Then, on May 30, Sterling sued the NBA and its commissioner, Adam Silver, seeking at least $1 billion in damages, just as the league tentatively approved a deal by his estranged wife, co-owner of the franchise, to sell the club for $2 billion to former Microsoft Corp chief executive Steve Ballmer.
LA Clippers not for sale
Besides the lifetime ban, Silver also fined Sterling $2.5 million, the league's maximum penalty.
Sterling's attorney, Maxwell Blecher, told Reuters in a statement on Monday that Sterling had withdrawn his support of the Clippers sale and that he will press ahead with his lawsuit.
In a statement carried by NBC News, Sterling said he had been treated unfairly and must defend his rights to privacy and due process.
"From the onset, I did not want to sell the Los Angeles Clippers. I have worked for 33 years to build the team ... I intend to fight to keep the team," NBC News quoted the 80-year-old Sterling as saying on Monday.
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