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AP sources detail Clippers deal

The NBA's Sterling Scandal

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Los Angeles Clippers co-owner Shelly Sterling would remain close to the organization under terms of the pending sale to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, according to two individuals close to the negotiations.

The individuals, who are not authorized to speak publicly, told The Associated Press the $2 billion deal allows for up to 10 percent of the team - or $200 million - to be spun off into a charitable foundation that Shelly Sterling would essentially run. The deal was negotiated by Shelly Sterling after husband Donald Sterling's racist remarks to a girlfriend were publicized and the NBA moved to oust him as team owner.

One of the individuals said Shelly Sterling and Ballmer would be co-chairs of the foundation. The individuals said the foundation would target underprivileged families, battered women, minorities and inner city youths. "To benefit those on the receiving end of Donald's rather abhorrent remarks," one individual said.

The idea to allow Shelly to continue some role was floated early on by her attorney, Pierce O'Donnell - neither he nor Shelly Sterling responded to a request for comment - and it was enthusiastically agreed to by the NBA. "The NBA was all over it in terms of support," one of the individuals said. "It gave her a meaningful role and stake in the team, and gave the NBA 100 percent sale of the team."

However, the NBA made clear she wouldn't be involved with the basketball franchise.

"It is not accurate that Mrs. Sterling will have a role with the Clippers or stake in the team," NBA spokesman Mike Bass said.

Donald Sterling's attorney, Maxwell Blecher, did not comment.

But it's unclear if this deal will ever materialize as Donald Sterling still had not signed off on the deal's terms because the NBA would not agree to revoke its $2.5 million fine and lifetime ban, according to one of the individuals.

Sterling had agreed to sell the team Wednesday and drop his $1 billion federal lawsuit against the NBA assuming "all their differences had been resolved." But now he's considering continuing the suit after being told by intermediaries the NBA won't budge on the punishments doled out by Commissioner Adam Silver after Sterling's racist comments were publicized.

Donald Sterling's consent to his wife's potentially record-breaking $2 billion deal was the first sign of an end to weeks of uncertainty. The NBA's owners must approve the deal.

Donald Sterling's comments to V. Stiviano included telling her to not bring black people to Clippers games, specifically mentioning Hall of Famer Magic Johnson. They resulted in a storm of outrage from the public and players and even prompted President Barack Obama to comment on what he called Sterling's "incredibly offensive racist statements."

Silver ultimately decided to ban Donald Sterling for life and began efforts to force Sterling to sell the team.

Donald Sterling's federal lawsuit alleges that the league violated his constitutional rights by relying on information from an "illegal" recording that publicized racist remarks he made to a girlfriend. It also said the league committed a breach of contract by fining Sterling $2.5 million and that it violated antitrust laws by trying to force a sale.

For weeks, Donald Sterling said through his attorneys that he'd fight the NBA's attempt to oust him as a team owner. But last week Shelly Sterling utilized her authority as sole trustee of The Sterling Family Trust, which owns the Clippers, to take bids for the team and ultimately negotiate a deal with Ballmer.

Under the deal Shelly Sterling would also get the title of "owner emeritus" and be entitled to continuing perks such as floor seats, additional seats at games and parking.

One of the individuals said the deal also includes conditions that allow Ballmer to buy back the 10 percent portion of the team for a pre-designated price upon Shelly Sterling's death.

"All the proceeds go to charity, it's not going to go to her," an individual said. "She's walking away with a $2 billion check. That's enough for her."

Join the discussion

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dvanbib441 June 08 2014 at 1:11 PM

by past action, the NBA IS a racist organization. not one black has been basnned for doing much, much more than sterling

Flag Reply +39 rate up
Truwriter June 08 2014 at 1:11 PM

If you step back from the media feeding frenzy you will choke on the PC implications. First of all, Sterling has been diagnosed with demenstia and yet he is being held to a set up conversation with what is really no more than a hooker who taped him and baited him into a conversation where he never said the dreaded N-word, just railed against her bringing her black boyfriends to the games to sit with him when HE was supposed to be her boyfriend. AND she was being pursued by the Clippers administration for missing funds amounting to over one milion dollars. So we have this blood frenzy that requires this crazy person to sell his lifelong investment for being racist, when the people accusing him of being racist in his "talk" say his is not in fact racist and has done much for the black community. You can take people's property, by force, for the remarks of a silly old man? Isn't that really what has happend and is happening? And what of his poor estranged victim wife's rights?????

Flag Reply +33 rate up
4 replies
jmuhaul89288 June 08 2014 at 1:19 PM

You wanna talk racist. Let's talk Snoop Dog

Flag Reply +30 rate up
5 replies
llmoss13 June 08 2014 at 1:18 PM

IMPEACH OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Flag Reply +25 rate up
11 replies
yo.massa June 08 2014 at 1:01 PM

I think that people are getting tired of hearing about this whole episode. The NBA got what it wanted and it is now time for them to concede a little just to get this over with. All this has done is generate hate which apparently the press loves. Time to move on.

Flag Reply +19 rate up
2 replies
savannahswithgod yo.massa June 08 2014 at 6:34 PM

Next story the NFL gays get new locker rooms cos they is not comfortable with guys looking at their rears. That slap on the rump for a good job has to go too sexual harassment and also from now on no QB's under the center unless both are gay and in a romance at the current moment!

Flag Reply +3 rate up
Kaden yo.massa June 08 2014 at 7:46 PM


Flag Reply +12 rate up
2 replies
Shirley Kaden June 09 2014 at 2:52 AM

Ah, come on. what in the world has Obama got to do with any of this. U must be a real ...............

Flag +1 rate up
phbl Kaden June 09 2014 at 4:49 AM

delusional and full of bullshit

Flag +1 rate up
James June 08 2014 at 12:55 PM

This is sure enough " Black Mail ". If you own a business you better close up and move it to another country that doesn't have a Supreme court. When it comes a time when you cannot choose who you want to associate with. You have lost all your freedoms. The word Nigra, found on hair color boxes, means black in Spanish. But *****, as they call themselves, also mean cheap black people, and of course ****** in the south is a form of slang that means the sames as these other two. If I was Donald Sterling I'd buy me an Island and turn it into an all white resort. And I would post a big Sign NBA, " No Blacks Allowed ".

Flag Reply +18 rate up
3 replies
riverhosed June 08 2014 at 1:26 PM

Anybody know what you call a white guy surrounded by 12 black guys?


Flag Reply +16 rate up
6 replies
bd2thebone June 08 2014 at 12:58 PM

If retracting the 2.5 mil fine and lifetime ban is the only thing holding the sale up the NBA is stupid not to relent. They will pay out much more defending theirself and possibly even more in a settlement. Plus once the suit is filed there will be no deal until it is settled.

Flag Reply +13 rate up
screech6010 June 08 2014 at 6:04 PM

I can understand why so many black players were offended by his comments, actually, no I can't, but when are they going to return all the money they were paid by this racist? i mean it's so offensive no black person wants anything to do with anything sterling has or has given in the past. so when are the black players going to return his racist money?

Flag Reply +6 rate up
dhendr3229 June 08 2014 at 3:21 PM

I wish someone could explain how an old man is labeled as a "racist", Yet his "girlfriend" is half Mexican- half black?

Flag Reply +6 rate up
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