I found it interesting that Linda Rambis noted back then that the Lakers had experts that concluded Ballmer had zero chance of building on "the other site", but that may have been due to the land owned by a church, which caused an uproar in the community but has since been removed from the current plans. Rambis goes on to say that Century Blvd. can't handle the extra traffic, which is something I've been quite concerned about when I first heard of Ballmer's designs on Inglewood. Despite the stated doubts about Ballmer's plans moving forward, there is a clear sense of panic by the Lakers and MSG braintrusts, which include Jeanie Buss and James Dolan.
In the NBA interview with Sekou Smith, Ballmer cited how not having hockey in his arena plans would significantly improve the basketball experience but also mentioned that the arena itself would be a concert venue by default. This lawsuit by MSG can't be about opposing adding another sports venue since the plaintiff itself tried to woo the Lakers back in response to the Clippers' plans. It has to be about the legalities of having another competing music venue, but I don't see any mention or dispute about such a theoretical non-compete clause.
At issue of the legal argument seems to be Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts, Jr. allegedly lying to MSG about using land it had rights to for a technology park. In the end, would that really matter? MSG had the opportunity to use it for themselves but chose not to do so regardless of what Butts had planned for the land in question, so they clearly had no need--urgent or otherwise--for it.
I know Butts is vulnerable to being exposed for unethical behavior while in office and that Ballmer notably invested in his re-election campaign and is footing the bill for his legal fees and such to grease the wheels of the process, but I don't see how MSG can legally block Ballmer from going through with his plans to build in Inglewood. Sure, MSG can delay the plans with lawsuit(s), but can they prevail if Ballmer is fully invested and ready for a legal fight?
For the record, I was never a big fan of using the Inglewood location for the Clippers' future home, but with Jeanie and Dolan teaming up against us, I can't help but want to win this fight. The hope is that we not only ultimately win, but somehow force or otherwise pressure Dolan to sell the Forum and its accompanying land to Ballmer.
Furthermore, it's also interesting that Irving Azoff testified in a deposition last year that Dolan supported the idea of selling the Lakers half of the Forum. If that is indeed the case, why would he object to selling that stake or the whole thing to Ballmer, who clearly would have interest? Maybe it was all or nothing for Ballmer who was probably unwilling to go partners with Dolan on his stadium venture, but again, just because Dolan can't or won't build a brand new sports venue on the land that he currently owns, what's to keep Ballmer from doing that on neighboring land that Dolan currently has no right to?
With the Lakers publicly stating that they're out of the picture, Ballmer isn't interfering in Dolan's plans to build a new sports stadium. It could also be argued that MSG already has plenty of influence in the music industry for Ballmer's proposed stadium to pose as a real threat to the Forum given that concerts would be a secondary purpose for the Clippers' arena on top of the previously mentioned point that the Los Angeles market is already considered oversaturated in terms of musical venues.
It could be argued that Ballmer would be taking more of a risk in trying to lure musical bookings from the Forum than MSG being threatened by a newcomer to the competitive field. Jeanie herself threatened as much in the cited email by saying that Ballmer would have nothing but Clippers basketball, meaning being shunned from attracting musical acts. Wouldn't that pose as evidence of collusion by Jeanie and Dolan against Ballmer? Granted Dolan wasn't cited to be engaged directly in the correspondence but he arguably had an agent in Azoff acting on his behalf.