LOS ANGELES — Donald Sterling, fighting his wife’s planned $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers, arrived in court Tuesday to give testimony but sat stolidly as a psychiatrist testified that he’s mentally incapable of handling financial affairs.
Sterling was ordered to take the witness stand after failing to appear for the start of the lawsuit trial Monday afternoon. His lawyers are challenging the authority of Shelly Sterling under a family trust to unilaterally cut a deal for the team with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
In order to be able to make the deal herself, Shelly Sterling had two doctors examine her husband, and they declared him mentally incapacitated and unable to act as an administrator of The Sterling Family Trust, which owns the Clippers.
A psychiatrist also hired by Shelly Sterling testified Tuesday that he drew the same conclusion after examining Sterling in May.
Dr. James Sparr said Sterling was friendly, relaxed and cooperative until a final question challenged his abilities.
A frustrated Sterling then said, “‘I have to go,’ and walked out of the room,” Sparr said.
Sparr’s report concluded that Sterling showed early signs of the debilitating mental condition and concluded that “he is substantially unable to manage his finances and resist fraud and malfeasance and is no longer competent to act as a trustee of his trust.”
Westbrook won’t play with U.S. team: USA Basketball said Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook will not participate this summer so he can rest some previous knee injuries.
Chairman Jerry Colangelo said Tuesday that USA Basketball had been communicating with Westbrook since the end of the season and knew his withdrawal was a possibility.
Westbrook was a member of the Americans’ gold medal-winning teams at the 2010 World Championship and 2012 Olympics. He has had multiple knee operations since, though was able to help the Thunder reach the Western Conference finals.
Colangelo said in a statement that the U.S. would love to have Westbrook but that “this is the right decision.”
First-round pick LaVine signs: The Minnesota Timberwolves signed first-round draft pick Zach LaVine.
The Timberwolves announced the signing Tuesday on the second day of a camp to prepare LaVine and others for the team’s summer league competition in Las Vegas. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
LaVine was the 13th overall pick out of UCLA last month. He averaged 9.5 points and 2.5 rebounds as a freshman last season. But the Timberwolves said they believe LaVine’s versatility and athleticism will eventually make him an impact player in the NBA.
Gortat feels the love: Feeling appreciated went a long way in helping Marcin Gortat’s time on the free agent market this summer be short and sweet.
The 6-foot-11 center says the “love” he received during a surprise visit to his basketball camp in Poland from a delegation of Wizards executives and coaches prior to the start of free agency was a gesture he didn’t forget.
It’s why he barely spent a day mulling potential offers before agreeing to sign a five-year, $60 million deal to remain in Washington.