Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Clippers owner Sterling to go quietly, source says

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LOS ANGELES -- Donald Sterling is turning his ownership stake in the Los Angeles Clippers over to his estranged wife, and she is in talks with the NBA to sell the team, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press on Friday.

The individual, who wasn't authorized to speak about the deal, said the couple reached the agreement after weeks of discussion.

"Donald Sterling is out, and there will be new owners," the individual told the AP.

Neither Shelly Sterling nor her attorney had any comment Friday. They have been in talks with NBA lawyers for the last couple weeks.

"She wants to be able to say, 'I'm selling the team, not the NBA is selling the team,' and have meaningful control over that transaction," the individual told the AP.

Donald Sterling was banned for life and fined $2.5 million by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after the release of a recording last month in which Sterling made racist remarks involving blacks, which comprise the majority of players in the league.

Earlier this week, the NBA charged Sterling with damaging the league and its teams with his comments, and said he has impaired its relationship with fans and merchandising partners.

Sterling has until next Tuesday to respond to the charge. He has the right to appear at a New York hearing on June 3 in front of the other owners and make a presentation before the league's board of governors votes on terminating his ownership. He is entitled to a lawyer at the hearing, but strict courtroom rules of evidence would not apply.

Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, the board chairman, will preside over the June 3 hearing. If three-fourths of the other 29 owners vote to sustain the charge, Sterling will be forced to sell the team he has owned since 1981. Silver has said he is confident he has the 23 votes that are necessary.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 24, 2014 C6

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