Sources: Donald Sterling allows his wife to negotiate sale of Clippers
At his press conference this week, NBA commissioner Adam Silver addressed Donald and Shelly Sterling selling the Clippers before the NBA removed the family’s ownership:
Silver might get his preference.
Sources tell NBC’s Matt Zimmerman that Donald Sterling has given control of the Clippers to Shelley Sterling.That confirms something first reported by TMZ:
Donald Sterling is no longer the controlling owner of the Los Angeles Clippers ... TMZ Sports has learned he just surrendered control to his estranged wife, Shelly Sterling, and she is now secretly negotiating with the NBA to sell the team ... ON HER TERMS.
Sources connected with the Sterlings tell us ... Donald made the decision because he saw the handwriting on the wall -- as long as he remained in control, the NBA would order an involuntary sale of the team.
Ramona Shelburne of ESPN actually explains it better:
Donald Sterling has agreed to allow his wife Shelly to negotiate a forced sale of the Clippers, source tells ESPN.— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) May 23, 2014
The Sterlings may be trying to negotiate the sale of the Clippers but it remains to be seen if the NBA will allow them to do so.
First off, the league released a statement saying that it will continue on its timetable for a June 3 hearing and vote. The league is not about to give up that leverage.
Next, there is no way Shelly has become the Clippers’ controlling owner, as the first reports indicated. That’s a change that must meet league approval, and not only would she have to answer a lot of questions in the vetting process, it would be a very public process we would know about (like any other ownership change). That has not happened.
This is a deal between Shelly and Donald, it is not something with the league.
This is an agreement between Shelly & Donald, not the league. The league has been negotiating with Shelly, but this is her deal, not theirs— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) May 23, 2014
It’s possible Shelly – an alternate governor for the Clippers – has assumed Donald’s vote. The NBA constitution stipulates:
This is an informal arrangement, at least as far as the NBA is concerned. Silver wants the team sold, and if Donald is willing to accommodate rather than sue, all the better. In effect, I’m not sure anything will proceed differently than had he just agreed to sell the team himself.
The one thing that could throw a wrench in all this is that Shelly Sterling wants to keep a piece of the team, reports Jeff Zillgitt at the USA Today.
Several players have told PBT this would be unacceptable to them. The league office has had the same reaction, which is another reason they are continuing to move forward with the efforts to terminate the Sterlings’ ownership.
The NBA contends, if the other owners vote to remove Donald’s ownership, Shelly would also lose hers. That vote is scheduled for June 3.
The clock for Shelly to complete a sale is ticking.