Disgraced Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has agreed to let his wife Shelley negotiate a forced selling of the Clippers franchise after Sterling ownership was banned for life from the NBA, according to a report from Ramona Shelburne at ESPN.com.
Shelburne added that Shelley Sterling’s plan was not to sell her entire stake of the team, which the NBA has taken a hard-line stance against: they will only accept a sale of the entire Sterling stake. That could be a major hurdle to overcome if Shelley Sterling refuses to change her stance, but the report that they’re willing to sell is a major change.
Sterling was fined the maximum allowable $2.5 million and banned for life after tapes leaked in which Sterling told his mistress that he didn’t want her posing with black people at Clippers games in photos on her Instagram account. Though Sterling has a long list of indiscretions, the ban was solely in response to the tapes, in which Silver said “Mr. Sterling violated league rules through his expressions of offensive and hurtful views, the impact of which has been widely felt throughout the league.”
After the tapes were leaked, Nets players spoke out in unison against Sterling. Kevin Garnett called Silver’s decision “needed.” Coach Jason Kidd called it “the right thing to do.” Deron Williams said he hadn’t heard the tape, but that it was a “very negative situation” and supported the decision.
Other players also tweeted their support, including Shaun Livingston, who played under Sterling with the Los Angeles Clippers for three seasons:
Applaud Adam Silver for his stance! #progress
— Shaun Livingston (@ShaunLivingston) April 29, 2014
Livingston told The Brooklyn Game that he had little direct contact with Sterling in those three seasons, but he “knew” about his character.
As well as Jason Collins:
Commissioner of the @NBA just showed us how he drops the hammer on ignorance. #lifetimeban for Donald Sterling. The ultimate #gonefishing
— Jason Collins (@jasoncollins34) April 29, 2014
Deron Williams had what we called the tenth-best quote of the Nets season on Sterling specifically, which you can read here.