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Donald Sterling has filed a lawsuit against the NBA for more than $1 BILLION, claiming he was unconstitutionally bullied out of the league.

Sterling filed a federal lawsuit Friday afternoon … claiming the NBA booted him from the league based on what he called an illegal recording that was widely publicized … painting him as a racist.

As you know … TMZ obtained the recording and posted it on their website.

Sterling also claims the $2.5 million fine was baseless and a violation of antitrust laws.

Shelly Sterling sold the team late Thursday to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.  The deal will almost certainly be ratified by the NBA.

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