Donald Sterling's wife and Los Angeles Clippers co-owner Shelly Sterling is hoping to maintain ownership of the team despite the NBA's plans to force her husband to give up the franchise, according to the Los Angeles Times' James Rainey, Mike Bresnahan and Nathan Fenno.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver hit Donald Sterling with a lifetime ban from the league along with a $2.5 million fine for racist comments that were recorded by a former girlfriend and later released to TMZ. The NBA is currently pushing to remove Donald Sterling from ownership, but Shelly Sterling believes the ban doesn't apply to her or the rest of her family.
Silver has said that his ruling was for Donald Sterling only, and that no firm decisions had been made on any family members. But most involved in the league, including players, fans and other owners, would prefer to see the Clippers move on from the Sterling family altogether.
However, Shelly Sterling wants to keep the team, which is something the NBA apparently wasn't expecting. Sterling has retained a law firm to assist her in her attempts to retain ownership, and she has put out several statements over the past few days as co-owner of the team. First, she denounced her husband's racist comments, and then she praised the NBA for putting Clippers president Andy Roeser on an indefinite leave of absence.
Despite Shelly Sterling's attempts to get back in the league's good graces, it's likely that they will do anything they can to remove her from power along with her husband. Even if she's not included in the vote to force Donald Sterling to sell the team, she might still need approval from the other owners to take control. Based on the general sentiment of the owners, that seems unlikely to happen.
Even so, the Sterling's appear willing to fight this in court, and the whole situation may not get resolved for quite some time.