LOS ANGELES (AP) — Shelly Sterling has informed the NBA of her deal with Steve Ballmer to purchase the Los Angeles Clippers, but the league isn’t ready to call off next week’s owners hearing just yet.
First, it needs more information about the potential record-breaking $2 billion sale she agreed to with the former Microsoft CEO.
“We await the submission of necessary documentation from Mrs. Sterling,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said Friday in a statement. “In the meantime, the June 3 special meeting of the NBA Board of Governors remains as scheduled.”
The league is planning a hearing that day to consider the charge against her husband, Donald Sterling, for damaging the league with his racist comments. Owners could vote to terminate his ownership — and Shelly’s as well — during that hearing.
But Commissioner Adam Silver has said he would prefer the Sterlings sell the team, and Shelly Sterling announced late Thursday night that she’d signed a binding contract for a sale of the Clippers by The Sterling Family Trust to Ballmer.
Ballmer “will be a terrific owner,” Sterling said, “We have worked for 33 years to build the Clippers into a premier NBA franchise. I am confident that Steve will take the team to new levels of success.”
Sterling negotiated the sale after Donald Sterling made racist remarks that were made public. The remarks included Sterling telling girlfriend V. Stiviano not to bring blacks to Clippers games, specifically mentioning Hall of Famer Magic Johnson.
Shelly Sterling’s statement noted that she made the deal “under her authority as the sole trustee of The Sterling Family Trust, which owns the Clippers.” Donald Sterling’s attorneys contend that he is a co-owner and therefore must give his assent for the deal to go through. They also say he won’t be giving it.