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June 29, 2017

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Sterling threatens to sue, won't pay US$2.5 million fine: report

LOS ANGELES -- Embattled owner Donald Sterling, who was banned for life from the National Basketball Association, is threatening to sue the league, Sports Illustrated reported Thursday.

The 80-year-old Los Angeles Clippers owner also said through a lawyer that he doesn't plan on paying the US$2.5 million fine the league slapped him with for his racist comments.

Sterling's lawyer Maxwell Blecher has written a letter to the NBA claiming that Sterling has done nothing wrong and "no punishment is warranted," according to the American sports magazine.

The Sports Illustrated report cited unnamed sources as saying Blecher is arguing that Sterling's due process rights have been violated and that he has not breached any article of the league's constitution. This type of letter is often a precursor to a lawsuit.

The report comes on the same day the Clippers were eliminated from the playoffs following a franchise best 57 win regular season. The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Clippers 104-98 Thursday to take the second round series 4-2.

Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers said it was an emotional scene in the dressing room after Thursday's loss as the pressure of playing amid all the chaos finally caught up with his players.

"The locker room was not good in a sad way," Rivers said. "It felt like all the stuff they have gone through came out and they released all their emotions.

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