L.A. Clippers co owner Shelly Sterling is trying to sell the Clippers before next Tuesday when the other NBA team owners will vote to take the team from both of the Sterlings, while her husband Donald has announced he plans to fight the actions by the league, calling the ownership ouster illegal.
According to the LA Times, If Shelly has her way it may lead to a potentially quick resolution to a controversy that appeared as if it might drag on for months or more, though people familiar with the situation cautioned that the sale is far from complete and must be approved by the NBA's other owners.
According to the Times, people familiar with the league's position said the NBA would continue with the process of removing the Sterlings at a hearing next Tuesday in New York, to keep the pressure on for completion of the sale.Michael Bass, the NBA's chief spokesman, reiterated the comments of Commissioner Adam Silver last week: "It would be a preferred outcome if the Sterlings were to voluntarily transfer 100% of the ownership in the team to new owners, rather than to have their ownership in the team terminated."
Donald Sterling's wife of 58 years has held half of the team through a family trust but only recently came to the forefront when her husband said he had turned over control to her so she could arrange sell the team. According to the NBA, Donald Sterling is controlling owner, but league officials said they would not stand in the way of any legitimate sale.
Some have estimated the team's value at between $1-2 billion dollars. Donald Sterling has made claim that he has recieved an offer of $2.5 billion in the past.
The Clippers had just finished their best season in franchise history, and were in the playoffs, when Sterling's racially-charged remarks were posted on the celebrity website TMZ.
About the same time Shelly was working on the deal, Donald Sterling was filing papers outlining his very unhappy position regarding the whole situation. Sterling had until Tuesday to protest the league's charge in advance of a June 3 hearing in which the NBA's other 29 owners will vote whether to force Sterling to sell his team, using bylaws in the NBA's constitution that Sterling has agreed to for years.
Sterling, who was secretly recorded by his girlfriend saying disparaging things about minorities, has vowed to fight both his banishment from the NBA and said he would never pay the $2.5 million fine the league commish levied against him. He referred to the actions taken by the NBA as illegal, and vowed to fight the 'draconian' punishment in court.