Shelly Sterling, the wife of embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, is trying to identify a buyer for the team before June 3 in order to avoid a board of governors vote that could force the family to sell the team.
The Associated Press reported that Shelly Sterling is reviewing bids from five groups interested in buying the team. NBA commissioner Adam Silver indicated last night that the board of governors would not meet if the Sterlings could arrange a sale first.
"There's a hearing June 3. What we've told the Sterlings is that it's their team to sell before the June 3 hearing," Silver said at a fundraiser in New York. "And I don't know where things stand."
The Los Angeles Times reported last night that Shelly Sterling had received at least four preliminary offers for the team that could reach up to a record $2 billion.
A number of complications still stand between the bidders and a final deal, the biggest being whether her husband will sign off on the transfer of the team. Six days ago, it appeared as though Sterling had authorized his wife to negotiate the sale of the team with the NBA. On Tuesday night, however, Sterling sent a 32-page response to the NBA, calling the NBA's effort to force him to sell the Clippers "illegal." He also vowed to fight the NBA charges against him.
Silver has been trying to force the sale of the team ever since Sterling was heard in an audio recording making racist remarks to a female companion. The recording was leaked to the gossip site TMZ.com, prompting Silver to ban Sterling for life and fine him $2.5 million. A forced sale would require approval by three-fourths of the league's 29 other owners. Silver has said he is confident he would get the necessary votes if they meet on June 3.