Los Angeles Clippers

Ben Bolch
June 8, 2014

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said he had “absolute confidence” the sale of the Clippers would be completed by mid-July because the indemnification team co-owner Shelly Sterling agreed to should protect the league from lawsuits brought by her husband, Donald.

The agreement means the Sterling trust that controls the team would pay for any legal judgment or settlement that Donald Sterling obtained.

“In essence, Donald is suing himself and he knows that,” Silver told reporters on Sunday before Game 2 of the NBA Finals at the AT&T Center. “While I understand he is frustrated, I think it’s over.”

Donald Sterling has vacillated in his stance on the proposed $2-billion sale of the team, which he presided over for three decades, to former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer. Sterling vowed to drop his $1-billion antitrust lawsuit against the league. But he has not signed off on the transfer of ownership, because he reportedly wants the NBA to rescind the lifetime ban and $2.5-million fine it issued after an audio recording surfaced in which Sterling made racially charged remarks.

Silver said there was “absolutely no possibility” the punishment would be withdrawn.

The commissioner reiterated Shelly Sterling’s position that she does not need her husband’s approval to sell the Clippers because she became sole trustee of the trust that controls the team when medical experts found Donald Sterling mentally unfit.

Nevertheless, Silver said, Shelly Sterling’s attorneys have notified the league that the couple planned to work out their remaining dispute.

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