As Donald Sterling is fighting back against the NBA for banning him for life and imposing a fine, the embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner released a statement to NBC News saying "the team is not for sale."
It's a surprising reversal for Sterling, who, along with his wife, had previously indicated they would accept a $2 billion sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
Samini said Sterling didn't think the lifetime ban would stand if he agreed to the sale.
“I’m not going to go into the particulars of the discussions, but that clearly wasn't the understanding,” Samini said. “Of course Adam Silver has come out now and made it clear that he’s not going to back off.”
"I think there was a time to have a discussion," Samini said Tuesday. "There was a time to try and have a resolution to this matter, but again, (NBA commissioner) Adam Silver has made it clear that he's going to go forward. They want to get this team sold. That's all they care about."
In the statement Monday, Sterling apologized and lashed out at the NBA and Silver, who imposed the lifetime ban after racist comments Sterling made that were recorded by his former companion V. Stiviano.
Samini insisted his client's mental state is sound, saying "there is no issue as to his mental capacity," and that any suggestion otherwise amounts to "very good legal tactics."
By Kerry Wills