NEW YORK (AP) - Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has responded to the NBA's attempt to oust him.


He says there is no basis for stripping him of his team because his racist statements were illegally recorded "during an inflamed lovers' quarrel in which he was clearly distraught."


Sterling says V. Stiviano recorded him without his knowledge and thus the recording was illegal under California law. He also said he could not have "willfully" damaged the league because he did not know it would be made public.


Meanwhile, the attorney for Shelly Sterling confirmed that Donald Sterling has given her written permission to sell the team. A person in contact with a potential bidder told The Associated Press that the Clippers are seeking binding bids before next Tuesday, the day NBA owners are scheduled to vote on whether to strip Sterling of the team.