Embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has hired a team of investigators to look for dirt on the NBA owners and the current and former league commissioners seeking to force him to sell his team, NBC News reported Thursday.
Following the release of a racist rant Sterling delivered to V. Stiviano, the NBA levied a $2.5 million fine against Sterling and banned him from the league for life. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced in late April that the NBA would try to force a sale of the Clippers.
Sterling’s estranged wife negotiated a sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion, but Sterling later said he will fight it.
Sterling’s investigators were given a six-figure budget and a month to dig up any kind of dirt on the league’s finances, discriminatory conduct, and compensation, according to the Associated Press.
Sterling is suing the NBA for $1 billion in a federal court to protest the NBA’s sanctions against him.
“The gloves are off, as they say,” a unnamed person familiar with the investigation told the AP.