Court Docs Reveal Donald Sterling Couldn’t Spell “World” Backward

With Donald Sterling set to fight the NBA and wife Shelly Sterling on the NBA record $2 billion sale of the Clippers to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Sterling’s mental capacity has been questioned, and recent court documents revealed by the OC Register before a hearing to make Shelly the sole trustee show a diagnosis of “cognitive impairment” for Donald, including an inability to draw the numbers on a clock face or spell “world” backward.

Sterling’s cognitive functioning is at the center of a hearing to determine whether Shelly Sterling can act as the lone trustee and sell the team to Ballmer without Donald’s approval. The four-day hearing is set for July 7, in Los Angeles Superior Court, and as a part of the filing, documents were revealed that paint a gruesome picture of Sterling’s cognitive impairment.

Via Dan Woike of the OC Register comes starling news at Sterling’s mental abilities after being assessed by doctors:

On May 19, Dr. Meril Sue Platzer presented Donald Sterling with a set of basic tasks.

She asked him to spell “world” backward. He could not. She asked him to count backward from 100 in increments of seven, and he failed to get past 93.
He was unaware of the season and struggled to draw a clock.


According to the filings, Donald Sterling was examined twice, first by Platzer and later by Dr. James E. Spar, a professor specializing in geriatric psychiatry at UCLA.

Both physicians concluded Sterling is suffering from “cognitive impairment.”
Of his examination May 27, Spar wrote that Sterling acknowledged forgetting “names and streets” and occasionally getting confused upon exiting an elevator.

While administering a connect-the-dots test that asks the patient to alternate between numbers and letters, Sterling became frustrated. Spar wrote that Sterling said “I can’t do it” and that he “threw the pen down and left the room.”

While Sterling was otherwise cooperative, Spar concluded “he is substantially unable to manage his finances and resist fraud and undo influence and is no longer competent to act as trustee of his trust.”

A third doctor, Dr. Stephen L. Read, confirmed the findings, which also included evidence of Alzheimer’s disease following a brain scan May 16.

So three doctors have declared Sterling “no longer competent to act as trustee of his trust,” and some point towards dementia and evidence of Alzheimer’s disease after a brain scan. The simple fact he couldn’t could count backwards from 100 in multiples of 7, or struggled to draw the face of a clock is pretty ample evidence he’s not capable of running an NBA franchise, thus forfeiting his trusteeship to Shelly.



But while three independent doctors have confirmed he’s no longer able to act as a trustee, one of Sterling’s lawyers, Bobby Samini, called the doctor’s findings a “sham,” and claimed Sterling was “very sharp.”

While three doctor’s findings is pretty substantial evience Shelly should have sole ownership and will continue along the path of selling the team to Ballmer, we can’t help but wonder what Sterling’s lawyers have cooked up to refute the three doctor’s claims.

(O.C. Register)

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