Commissioner Adam Silver could scarcely have been more resolute in his press conference last week to ban Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life, but It doesn’t appear as though final resolution to the saga will be so straightforward. Here’s more on the battle for the Clippers involving Sterling and wife Shelly Sterling.
- Shelly Sterling does not want to become the managing owner of the Clippers, but is hoping to maintain her 50% share and passive role while a new buyer replaces her husband’s active role, a person close to her camp tells Brent Schrotenboer of USA Today.
- Schrotenboer’s source said that Sterling is in talks with the league, but didn’t give an indication of whether the NBA is agreeable to such a scenario.
- Sterling’s attorney released a two page statement further detailing Sterling’s claim of rights to continue owning the team, per Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com (Twitter link).
- In the statement, the attorney denied that legal proceedings from Shelly Sterling’s past are fair grounds on which to judge the co-owner, Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com passes on (Twitter links).
- The Sterling family trust in control of the Clippers indeed lays out a 50-50 ownership split between Donald and Shelly Sterling, Medina tweets.
- Rivers reiterated that it wouldn’t be ideal for Shelly Sterling to own the team going forward, as Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News notes (Twitter links). “That would be a difficult situation for everybody because of the relationship,” Rivers said. “I guarantee every person wouldn’t be on board with that. Whether I would or not, I’m not going to say.”
- Shelly Sterling’s lawyer tells Tami Abdollah of The Associated Press that she “will not agree to a forced or involuntary seizure of her interest” in the team, which is a 50% share, Abdollah writes. Attorney Pierce O’Donnell said Shelly Sterling is considering divorce from Donald Sterling, and he claims they’ve been separated for the past year. O’Donnell also said that Shelly Sterling “abhors” her husband’s racial comments and believes that Silver “exonerated” her last week when he said that no decision had been made regarding any claim to ownership from the family of Donald Sterling. O’Donnell added that he spoke with the NBA on Thursday, and that Shelly Sterling still plans to attend Friday’s game against the Thunder.
- A recording of a phone conversation allegedly involving Donald Sterling gives further indication that he’ll fight the NBA’s efforts to strip him of Clippers ownership, as Dylan Howard and Melissa Cronin of RadarOnline.com report. Howard and Cronin claim possession of an affidavit confirming that Sterling was part of the conversation. “You can’t force someone to sell property in America!” Sterling is to have said, according to the report. “I’m a lawyer, that’s my opinion.”
- Doc Rivers and the Clippers had no indication that Shelly Sterling would try to keep the team, tweets Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com. Markazi points to a comment Rivers made last week in which the coach asserted that it didn’t sound as if she could own the team going forward and that “I think she knows that,” Rivers said. (Twitter link).
- Shelly Sterling asked Rivers’ permission to attend Game 5 against the Warriors, then attended Game 7 against the team’s wishes, Markazi points out, adding that the team wants nothing to do with her as “co-owner” of the club (Twitter links). Rivers and other Clippers department heads are jointly running the team in the absence of president Andy Roeser, who’s on indefinite leave, while the NBA searches for a new CEO.
- We passed along the latest on Shelly Sterling’s push to control the Clippers earlier today.