NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned Donald Sterling for life, On April 30, and fined him $2.5 million for making racist comments. The ban bars Sterling from attending NBA games or practices, being present at any Clippers office or facility, or participating in any business or player personnel decisions involving the team. He also cannot participate in any league business going forward.
The NBA are now in the process in trying to force the Sterling Trust to sell the franchise.
However, Shelly Sterling has made it clear to the NBA that she intends to retain her 50 percent ownership interest in the team.
Shelly Sterling has publicly and privately cooperated with the league in its actions to ban her husband for life and move to oust him from ownership. However, the league contends that Shelly Sterling has never been approved by the board of governors as the controlling owner. She and former team president Andy Roeser, who went on an indefinite leave of absence this week, were only alternate governors of the team.
Dick Parsons was appointed as interim CEO of the team on May 9.
In order to In order to become the team's new controlling owner, Shelly Sterling needs to be approved by the board of governors, which is highly unlikely due to her relationship with Donald Sterling – the couple has been married for 58 years. Also, the players have made it clear they would not support Shelley Sterling being in control of the franchise according to Miami Heat guard James Jones.
Pierce O’Donnell, Shelly Sterling’s lawyer, said that Shelly Sterling’s current position was to maintain the 50 percent interest in the team for the rest of her life. He said that she does not want to be the “controlling owner” and would welcome a new management team.
O’Donnell added that Shelly Sterling is currently working on an amicable solution with the NBA, however, O’Donnell if no satisfactory conclusion could be reached, Shelly Sterling would take it to the courts.
Shelly Sterling reiterated O’Donnell’s statement in an interview with Barbara Walters of ABC News on May 11.
"I will fight that decision," she told Walters. "To be honest with you, I'm wondering if a wife of one of the owners, and there's 30 owners, did something like that, said those racial slurs, would they oust the husband? Or would they leave the husband in?"
Shelly Sterling also told Walters that she "eventually" plans to divorce Donald Sterling, who she has been separated for over a year. "For the last 20 years, I've been seeing attorneys for a divorce," she said, laughing. "In fact, I have here — I just filed — I was going to file the petition. I signed the petition for a divorce. And it came to almost being filed. And then, my financial advisor and my attorney said to me, 'Not now.'"