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Report: If Shelly Sterling loses in court, NBA will move to vote out Donald Sterling

Memphis Grizzlies v Los Angeles Clippers - Game 3

Memphis Grizzlies v Los Angeles Clippers - Game 3

NBAE/Getty Images

Shelly Sterling had Donald Sterling ruled mentally incapacitated, and now she’s trying to get a court to confirm that finding.

If she does so successfully, she’ll have control of the Sterling Family Trust and can sell the Clippers to Steve Ballmer.

If she fails?

David Aldridge of

The NBA will reinstitute its termination hearing against Donald Sterling if he is successful in probate court

Donald is losing the Clippers one way or another – either the probate judge will give Shelly authority to sell them or the NBA will vote to remove his ownership. The outcome in court matters a great deal more for Shelly.

If she can sell the Clippers to Ballmer on her own terms, she’ll remain part of the franchise. (This is why it matters significantly to Ballmer, too.)

But if the NBA removes Donald’s ownership, she also loses hers. That means the NBA would manage the sale – a whole new process – and she’d get nothing but her half of the sale price.

By all indications, the NBA is betting Shelly will prevail. The league has reportedly reviewed Donald’s medical report and has also surely seen the all-important trust details. If the NBA didn’t believe Shelly could sell the team, I doubt it would have cancelled its vote – originally scheduled for June 3 – to remove Donald as owner.

Donald’s lawyer, of course, claims his client is far from mentally incapacitated.

This court case – against his wife – might be the one time I’m rooting for Donald to win. If he does, that means he and Shelly would be voted out, and I don’t especially want to see her remain part of the Clippers.