Report: Neurologist declares Donald Sterling mentally fit, will testify in court

It appears Donald Sterling is preparing to fight back against wife Shelly and her assertions he is mentally unfit to have a say in the sale of the Clippers.

Kirby Lee/Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In the seemingly neverending saga of Donald Sterling, his mental capacity and its role on his right to have a say in the sale of the Clippers, CNN on Monday morning reported that a doctor over the weekend declared the 80-year-old mentally fit.

According to the report, the exam was conducted in Las Vegas over the weekend by Dr. Jeffrey Cummings, "a neurologist with the Cleveland Clinic and one of the top dementia and Alzheimer’s disease specialists in the country," according to CNN’s source.

Cummings’ exam, the story said, was arranged by one of Donald Sterling’s attorneys. While the hour-plus-long exam reportedly found no signs of dementia or lack of mental capacity and concluded there is no reason Sterling cannot manage his own business dealings, it also added that the embattled Clippers owner did show signs of MCI, or mild cognitive impairment.

The CNN report stated that MCI "is common in people Sterling’s age."

According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s website:

Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) causes a slight but noticeable and measurable decline in cognitive abilities, including memory and thinking skills. A person with MCI is at an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s or another dementia. . . . Because the changes caused by MCI are not severe enough to affect daily life, a person with MCI does not meet diagnostic guidelines for dementia. However, those with MCI have an increased risk of eventually developing Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia. However, not all people with MCI get worse and some eventually get better.

In addition, according to the AA’s site:

Long-term studies suggest that 10 to 20 percent of those aged 65 and older may have MCI.

The CNN report added that Cummings has agreed to testify about his findings at trial on July 7.

Sterling’s mental capacity is at the heart of wife Shelly Sterling’s attempt to sell the club to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. A pair of doctors previously found Donald Sterling "mentally incapacitated," Shelly Sterling claimed — a diagnosis which, per the Sterling family trust, eliminates the need for Donald Sterling to sign off on the sale of the team and gives sole authority to the remaining spouse.

Sterling was banned for life and fined $2.5 million by the NBA, and new commissioner Adam Silver said he would recommend to other owners that they force Sterling to sell the club, after audio tapes surfaced early during the playoffs on which Sterling made several racist comments to V. Stiviano, his alleged mistress.