LOS ANGELES — After weeks of signaling that he would fight hard to hold on to the Los Angeles Clippers, Donald Sterling launched a new strategy Friday that would transfer full ownership of the team to his wife, Shelly, a source close to the family said.
Shelly Sterling would then negotiate a sale of the team if she were allowed to retain a minority stake in the franchise, which could be worth more than $1 billion, said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The proposal was given little chance of succeeding by people familiar with the NBA’s constitution and procedures. The league requires any change in “controlling” ownership to be approved by the NBA board of governors, made up of one representative from each of the 30 teams. The governors have not voted on a transfer between the Sterlings, and the league has indicated it doesn’t want any Sterling to own any part of the team.
The Sterlings’ latest move did not appear to soften the NBA’s determination to push ahead with the proceedings that would oust the couple.
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“We continue to follow the process set forth in the NBA constitution regarding termination of the current ownership interests in the Los Angeles Clippers and are proceeding toward a hearing on this matter on June 3,” spokesman Mike Bass said.
The NBA leveled charges against Sterling on Monday, a little more than three weeks after the website TMZ posted an audio recording of the owner making disparaging comments about African Americans. Under the league’s constitution, he must respond to the allegations by Tuesday, and then can make his case to his fellow owners at the June hearing. The NBA requires a vote of three-quarters of the board of governors to remove an owner.
MIAMI — Indiana’s Paul George will play in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals Saturday night.
The Pacers said George was cleared “to return to normal basketball activity,” a decision made three days after he was concussed in Game 2 of the Indiana-Miami series.
The series is tied at a game apiece, with Miami grabbing the home-court edge away by rallying for an 87-83 win at Indianapolis in Game 2.
OKLAHOMA CITY — The San Antonio Spurs never believed Serge Ibaka was out for the Western Conference finals, even after the Thunder said it expected him to miss the rest of the playoffs with a calf injury.
Looks like the Spurs might have been on to something. The Thunder said its defensive standout now is day to day after his strained left calf showed improved movement and stability and a significant decrease in swelling.
The Thunder has missed Ibaka badly as San Antonio has raced to a 2-0 lead in the series going into Game 3 on Sunday.