Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has allowed his wife to negotiate a forced sale of the team, according to sources.
Sources say Shelly Sterling and her lawyers have been negotiating with the NBA since commissioner Adam Silver banned her husband from the NBA for life for making racially charged comments on an audiotape.
In addition to the lifetime ban, Donald Sterling was fined $2.5 million by Silver after the release of a TMZ recording in which he told a female friend, V. Stiviano, not to bring black people to Clippers games.
If the league accepts this arrangement, the new development could quickly end what appeared to be a long legal battle after Shelly earlier declared that she will not give up her share on the team.
Sources said the only way the NBA would accept the terms of this agreement between Donald Sterling and his wife would be if the team was sold in its entirety. It remains unclear how much of a share — if not all – Shelly is willing to sell.
The NBA filed charges to terminate Sterling’s ownership of the Clippers this week. He has five business days — until Tuesday — to respond to the charges. A hearing was set for June 3 in New York, with a vote of the board of governors to take place thereafter.
“We continue to follow the process set forth in the NBA Constitution regarding termination of the current ownership interests in the Los Angeles Clippers and are proceeding toward a hearing on this matter on June 3,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a release.
Earlier, Miami Heat super star LeBron James said it was “very important” a resolution be reached quickly.
“We don’t want this lingering around our sport,” he said. “It sucks that it happened. The players and owners and everyone associated with this game knows there’s no need for it. So the quicker it gets done, the quicker we can move on.”