Donald Sterling has decided that his estranged wife, Rochelle "Shelly" Sterling, will take over the team and potentially negotiate the forced sale of his basketball team, the LA Clippers, to a new owner. The disgraced NBA owner came under heated fire for telling his ex-girlfriend V. Stiviano not to associate with African-Americans or post pictures of them on her personal Instagram account.
Donald Sterling handing the reins over to Shelly Sterling was his response to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banning him from the league and demanding his forced sale of the team on April 29. Sterling had until Tuesday, May 26 to respond to the NBA's request, and while before it seemed the NBA owner was intent on legally fighting Silver's ruling, it seems he's had a change of mind, a source told ESPN.
While it is currently against NBA bylaws for Sterling to transfer team ownership, the change could be approved temporarily if she is selling the team. However, Shelly Sterling's lawyers previously stated that she would like to maintain her 50 percent interest in the team, and she has distanced herself from her estranged husband and his racial controversy in the past.
A hearing is scheduled in New York for June 3 where the other owners will vote either for or against Sterling remaining the owner— while some have said they will vote for Sterling to be forced out, others like Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban have not revealed their choice. After the hearing, the NBA of governors will also meet and decide how to proceed.
Sterling became embroiled in controversy after his ex-girlfriend V. Stiviano taped his racially-charged tirade against Magic Johnson, Matt Kemp and other African-Americans whom she took pictures with. Sterling demanded that she refrain from taking pictures with African-Americans and never to bring them to LA Clippers games.