Los Angeles Clippers

By Dakota Smith, Jack Wang, and Mark Medina
Los Angeles Daily News
Posted: 05/23/14, 9:11 AM PDT | Updated: 10 hrs ago

Embattled Clippers owner Donald Sterling is attempting to turn his stake in the basketball team over to his wife Shelly, who will then negotiate a sale with the NBA.

Donald Sterling agreed this week to transfer his half of the Los Angeles franchise to Shelly Sterling, a source confirmed. Shelly Sterling intends to negotiate with the NBA on her terms, the source said.

However, league sources say its Board of Governors will not approve Shelly Sterling as a controlling owner.

Any potential transfer of ownership must be approved through a vote by league owners. The NBA stated Friday that it will still move forward with a hearing in New York next week that could oust both the Sterlings, and subsequently cede control of the team to commissioner Adam Silver.

“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,” league spokesperson Mike Bass said in a statement.

Article 5 of the NBA Constitution states that no membership can be transferred “in whole or in part, directly or indirectly” without league approval.

The member in question — in this case, Donald Sterling — must submit a written request to the NBA commissioner, who then takes steps to vet the new prospective member. NBA owners must then approve the transfer with a three-fourths majority vote.

The league has argued that, under its constitution, a three-fourths majority vote to remove Donald Sterling would also remove Shelly Sterling.

Legal minds see this as a possible turning point in moving closer to a sale.

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