Deposed Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling asked an appellate court on Friday to block the $2 billion sale of the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Ballmer's lawyer quickly denounced the move as part of Sterling's "egotistical crusade to destroy the Clippers if he can't keep the team, and he can't."

Lawyers for Sterling asked the Second District Court of Appeals to stay a probate judge's ruling that cleared the way for the sale. They said the judge prematurely finalized his ruling so the sale can be completed without a chance to appeal.

Sterling's appellate lawyers said in their request for a writ of mandate that if the sale goes through, "Donald will have lost a unique and irretrievable asset: a 'trophy asset' coveted by high net worth individuals around the world — one of thirty NBA franchises in the country, and one that under Donald's thirty-year ownership has recently become one of the most successful."

The main complaint of the appellants is the judge's decision to allow the sale to go forward with no time for an appeal. He used a section of law that bars a stay of his decision.

Read more from the Associated Press at NOLA.com