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Beyond the controversy: Clippers owner Donald Sterling battling prostate cancer

Donald Sterling, seen here at a Clippers game in April, is reportedly battling prostate cancer.
Donald Sterling, seen here at a Clippers game in April, is reportedly battling prostate cancer.
Getty Images

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling isn't just battling the NBA (and most of the country, it seems) for racist remarks that surfaced last week. It turns out the 80-year-old is also fighting prostate cancer.

The New York Post first confirmed Sterling's health struggles late Thursday, adding a health twist to the self-imposed chaos swirling around the embattled Clippers owner. Prostate cancer, as the name indicates, forms in tissues of the prostate and usually occurs in older men. The National Cancer Institute estimates that there will be 233,000 new cases of the disease this year and more than 29,000 deaths.

"They thought he would die two years ago,” an unnamed source told the New York Post. "People have been predicting his imminent demise. I’m sure he has the best...drugs money can buy."

Sterling catapulted into a nationwide controversy last week after an audio recording was released, reportedly of the Clippers owner making extremely blatant racist remarks. The National Basketball Association confirmed that it was an authentic recording of a conversation between Sterling and his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, about a picture Stiviano had taken with Magic Johnson and later posted on social media.

"It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you're associating with black people. Do you have to?...You can sleep with them. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not promote it ... and don't bring them to my games."

As a result of this recording, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver handed down what many believe is a just "sentence" to Sterling: For starters, he was fined $2.5 million and banned from all NBA games and practices. In addition, Silver urged the league’s other owners to force the sale of the Clippers.

Also on Thursday, the NBA’s advisory and finance committee, consisting of 10 men with ownership stakes in teams, met for the first time since Silver announced Sterling's punishment. Members “unanimously agreed to move forward as expeditiously as possible" to begin the process involved for removing Sterling as one of the league’s 30 owners. The committee is scheduled to meet again next week.

In the meantime, there has been no public statement by Sterling on the status of his physical health.