Donald Sterling to Let Shelly Sell the Clippers
Move could avoid legal fight—or be a tactic in one
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted May 23, 2014 2:48 PM CDT
In this 2010 file photo, Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald T. Sterling sits with his wife, Shelly, during a game.   (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

(Newser) – Donald Sterling has agreed to let his estranged wife, Shelly, negotiate the sale of the Clippers, multiple media outlets are reporting—though that might not be as clear a capitulation as it sounds like. For one thing, it's unclear how much of a stake Shelly would be willing to sell; one USA Today source says she would sell only if were was able to retain a minority interest in the team. ESPN sources say the NBA would accept the deal only if the Sterlings sell the entire team.

The league released an official statement saying it would proceed nonetheless with its plan to forcibly oust Sterling during its June 3 meeting. Until now, the Sterlings have given every indication that they'll fight to keep the team. ESPN legal analyst Lester Munson speculates that this may be a "cynical attempt to entrap the NBA into recognition that Shelly shares ownership with Donald," which would complicate efforts to force a sale "in a major way."