NBA Moving Ahead With Plans To Force Donald Sterling To Sell

Kirby Lee USA TODAY Sports

The NBA appears intent on forcing disgraced L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling into selling his team, maintaining the league’s longest tenured owner has violated numerous contracts in his more than 33 years of heavy-handed patrolling of the franchise.

According to ESPN, various mandates within the league’s operating constitution stipulate an owner can be removed on the grounds one “fails or refuses to fulfill contractual obligations to the Association.” The website reports one of the documents Sterling has signed since taking control of the Clippers in 1981 requires that an owner not engage in acts or activities that “will materially and adversely affect a team or the league.”

In addition, owners also sign morals clauses, which state that they will be upheld to the highest standard of ethical and moral behavior. The 80-year-old Sterling seemingly grossly violated both those doctrines with his recent racially charged rant where he admonished a girlfriend “not to bring black people to my games.”

Since first-year Commissioner Adam Silver moved to ban Sterling for life and impose a maximum $2.5 million fine on him, such well-known celebrities as Magic Johnson, Oprah Winfrey, David Geffen, Larry Ellison and Sean “Diddy” Combs have all expressed at least a preliminary interest in owning the team, which is expected to sell for upwards of $1 billion.

The NBA is now seeking to install a league-appointed CEO to operate the day-to-day activities of the franchise after forcing team president and long-time Sterling right hand man Andy Roeser to take a formal leave of absence earlier this week.

Sources also tell ESPN Sterling’s longtime wife, Shelly, now appears to be trying to distance herself from her husband and is hopeful the league will allow her to control the team and somehow keep it in the family.

The No. 3 seeded Clippers took a 1-0 lead in their Western Conference semifinals matchup against Kevin Durant and Oklahoma City on Monday, easily thumping them 122-105 on the road.


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Glenn Minnis
Glenn Minnis is an XN Sports NBA contributor. He has written for the Chicago Tribune, ESPN, BET and AOL. Follow him on Twitter at @glennnyc.