Donald Sterling to allow wife, Shelly Sterling, to sell Clippers, AP source says

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling attends the

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling attends the NBA playoff game between the Clippers and the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center in Los Angeles on April 21, 2014. (Credit: Getty Images / Robyn Beck)

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 Friday.

The individual, who wasn't authorized to speak publicly 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 . They have been in talks with NBA lawyers for the last couple of 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 engaged in other conduct that 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.

It will take three-quarters of the owners to terminate Sterling's ownership, and the league says also that of Shelly Sterling.

"She has no plans to sue the NBA," the individual told the AP. "She's trying to make nice."

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.

If Sterling does not respond to the charge within five business days, or does not appear at the hearing, it would be deemed an admission of the "total validity of the charges as presented," according to the NBA constitution.

Donald Sterling's attorney had asked for a three-month delay, which the league rejected. His attorney had no comment .

Shelly Sterling initially had said she would fight to keep her 50 percent share of the team even if her husband is forced to sell, but the league has made it clear that all ownership interests in the Clippers will be terminated if the other owners vote to sever his control at the June hearing.

NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement that the league is continuing to follow the process for terminating the Clippers' ownership.

One owner, speaking to the AP on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the sale, said the league would have to be certain the buyer had no connection to the Sterling family.

"We don't want this to linger around our sport," Miami Heat star LeBron James said after practice. "The quicker it gets done, the sooner we can move on."

advertisement | advertise on newsday

NBA video

Related Stories

Vote

Do you agree with the NBA's decision on Donald Sterling?

Yes No, it was too harsh No, it wasn't harsh enough

advertisement | advertise on newsday