Donald Sterling has hired four firms to dig up embarrassing information about NBA executives and other owners.

A confidant of Sterling claims the firms have dug up "dirt" on racial discrimination by NBA officials that were as bad as the comments that Sterling made about African-Americans.

The NBA maintains it has done nothing wrong and that Sterling is trying to distract from his own failures.

Each firm hired by Sterling has been told it can bill up to $50,000 to produce results over the next 30 days.

"They are trying to apply a standard, but they are not applying it equally to everyone, including themselves," the Sterling ally said. "That is going to create a real legal problem for them. Even if they are a private organization, they can't say that a policy applies to only one member and everyone else is free to do what they want."