Embattled Clippers owner Donald Sterling, pictured center in the photo above, is slowly but surely being forced out of the exclusive circle that comprises ownership over the NBA. While Sterling has a track record of reprehensible statements and behavior (some of it on the record, some of it possibly reputable yet unconfirmed, and some of it tabloid gossip), the NBA was forced into action after Sterling’s girlfriend leaked some damaging audio of Sterling asking her not to bring black people to Clippers games to TMZ. The big takeaway there: not everyone follows court proceedings regarding shady NBA owners, but everyone listens to the celebrity shame media outlets.
Rightly so, in this case. NBA commissioner Adam Silver and the rest of the league quickly moved to issue a lifetime ban on Sterling from games, practices, and league facilities, as well as putting the cogs in motion for a sale of the team. Sterling, who bought the Clippers in 1982 for $12 million dollars, may not have to pay any taxes on his sale of the team. For a franchise valued at over one billion dollars, this is a big deal.
“If Sterling had voluntarily sold the team for $1 billion, he would have owed about $200 million in federal income tax and another $123 million in California state income tax,” writes The Daily Beast (italics theirs.) “But thanks to a tax law that applies only to forced sales or other “involuntary conversions,” Sterling’s profits may all be tax-free.”