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James Dolan may sue Steve Ballmer over construction of Clippers’ new arena

New York and Los Angeles have long been considered as two of the biggest markets in the NBA and they’ve always had a silent rivalry, as their cities expect nothing but the best from their teams. Now, there might be another battle that could add to their antagonism, this time involving the team owners of the Knicks and Clippers.

As reported by Sandy Maza of Daily Breeze, James Dolan is considering suing Steve Ballmer, to prevent him from building a new arena for his team. The ownership of the Knicks and Madison Square Garden also owns The Forum in Inglewood, California, which now serves as a top entertainment venue. With the possible construction of a new homecourt for the Clippers, The Forum will have competition, which Dolan and company are trying to avoid.

“The mayor made it extremely clear that he needed that piece of land back for a kind of ‘Silicon Beach,’ ” said Marvin Putnam, a partner with the law firm Latham & Watkins, which filed the damage claim that serves as a precursor to a lawsuit. “They’re attempting to flat-out trick people.”

“(Inglewood Mayor James) Butts declined to comment, and there is no proof that he made those statements. But when Madison Square Garden Co. relinquished the parking lease to the city, its approved contract states that the land would not be used for anything that would hurt the Forum’s business, according to documents.”

If a lawsuit will indeed be filed against Ballmer, it could mean the start of a strife between both franchises, which could result to emotionally charged matchups on the court as well. The Clippers and The Forum are currently in an exclusive negotiating agreement facilitating the sale of the property, however, the report also states that Putnam made it clear that they will file a counter should the deal progress, in order to prevent it from happening.

It’s still unclear what the exact plans of Ballmer will be and where he wants the Clippers to have their home games. He is definitely looking to have his team have their own arena and not share it with the Los Angeles Lakers, which will strengthen their case of having their own identity moving forward.