New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – The NBA believes it has the legal grounds to oust Shelly Sterling as Los Angeles Clippers owner, aside from her estranged husband Donald.
The league contends that Shelly Sterling has never been approved by the board of governors as the controlling owner.
She and team president Andy Roeser, who went on an indefinite leave of absence this week, were only alternate governors.
In order to become the team’s new controlling owner, Shelly Sterling would have to be approved by the board of governors.
Miami Heat guard James Jones, the current secretary-treasurer of the players association, said Saturday that Shelly Sterling is not an acceptable replacement for her husband.
Shelly Sterling has cooperated with the league in its actions to ban her husband for life and to oust him from ownership due to the scandal over the latter’s racist comments.
Her lawyer, Pierce O’Donnell, noted that Shelly had repudiated Donald’s racist statements.
Dick Parsons, who was appointed by the NBA as the interim CEO of the Clippers on Friday, told ESPN that he intends to reach out to Shelly Sterling soon.
He said that they will try and work “cooperatively, collaboratively and collegially” with all stakeholders who haven’t been banned.”
“Obviously she’s a big fan of the team, she has an ownership interest, she has not been banned from anything,” Parsons told ESPN.
O’Donnell said that while his client wants to maintain 50 percent interest for the rest of her life, she does not want to be the controlling owner and would welcome a dynamic management team and investors.
That leaves open the door for a compromise that could avoid a protracted legal battle, sources said.
O’Donnell said that if an amicable settlement with the NBA isn’t possible, they will pursue a court action.