Judge Nap: NBA May Not Be Able to Force Sterling to Sell the Clippers
Despite a lifetime ban, the controversy surrounding LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling is far from over. Sterling was banned by the NBA and fined $2.5 million after his mistress leaked audio of him going on a racist rant against black people.
In the recording, Sterling told his mistress that she wasn’t allowed to bring Magic Johnson to any games. Johnson reacted to yesterday’s decision by the league, saying, “I’m just happy that Commissioner Adam Silver came down hard. We can’t let people get away with this.”
The lawyer for the woman who recorded the rant, V. Stiviano, claims she was never his mistress. He said the two did not have a romantic relationship and that she worked for Sterling as an archivist.
There’s also a report that Oprah Winfrey is interested in buying the Clippers. Though yesterday, Oprah told TMZ that she would not bid for the team.
The question remains whether or not the league can force Sterling to sell the team.
On Shepard Smith Reporting, Judge Andrew Napolitano said the agreement that Sterling signed when he acquired the team purportedly says if three-quarters of the owners agree that Sterling engaged in conduct detrimental to the game, they can force him to sell the team.
However, the judge said that if Sterling refuses to sell, it’ll create many obstacles to overcome. One obstacle concerns Sterling’s wife, Rochelle, who owns 50 percent of the stock in the team under California law. She has done nothing offensive, and therefore cannot be forced to sell her shares.