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Adam Silver: Donald Sterling and Shelly Sterling might still own Clippers when season begins

Jul 15, 2014, 11:33 PM EDT

Donald Sterling, Rochelle Sterling Donald Sterling, Rochelle Sterling

Closing arguments in the court case between Shelly Sterling and Donald Sterling are set for July 28, and the verdict will likely come at a later date. An appeal could follow.

The case is dragging as the NBA season is approaching, and Adam Silver sees the writing on the wall.

Ben Golliver of

The Sterlings owning the Clippers when the season begins would be a black eye for the NBA. Not a huge one, but a blemish nonetheless.

The the league could have had the Sterlings gone by now, but it chose to cancel the scheduled vote to remove Donald – and Shelly with him – as owner. The other owners didn’t want to vote out one of their own if it could be avoided, and they loved the $2 billion offer Steve Ballmer presented. They wanted to let Shelly sell the team on her own and watch the value of everyone’s franchises rise all while they avoided the precedent-setting dirty work.

That still might happen – and Donald is out regardless. If need be, the NBA will reschedule its vote to remove his ownership. The timeline just might extend into the season.

National Basketball Players Association vice president Roger Mason Jr. said LeBron James would boycott if Sterling still owned the Clippers when the 2014-15 season began, but Mason later backtracked from that assertion. Though the specifics got twisted, I don’t think the underlying fact was wrong: The players want Sterling out before the season. If that doesn’t happen, it will be interesting how they react.

  1. 00maltliquor - Jul 15, 2014 at 11:46 PM


    • phaden27 - Jul 16, 2014 at 12:02 AM

      I don’t see this getting many upvotes.

      • seattlesuperchronic - Jul 16, 2014 at 12:53 AM

        He’s making fun of a Clippers fan/dingus who always ends his comments “InDocWeTrust”.

    • 22yearsagotoday - Jul 16, 2014 at 5:16 AM

      What’s really funny is the Lakers record last year compared with the Clippers!

      • 00maltliquor - Jul 16, 2014 at 5:57 AM

        I get it. Cause I’ve been saying that my ENTIRE life! Haaaaa!

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 16, 2014 at 12:49 PM


        you’re right there, the lakers are a great organization and have had a lot of success.

        but in the what have you done for me lately world we all live in… here are their records for the past 3 seasons


        153 wins against 77 loses


        113 wins against 117 losses

        The Clips have 40 more wins than the Lakers in the past 3 seasons (one was shortened of course or it would be more than 40 games).

        The Clippers will continue to pull away from the Lakers again this coming season so the totals after the last 4 yrs will be even greater.

        But, you ARE correct in that the Lakers have a much more storied past than the Clippers and that isn’t going to change in our lifetimes.

        I hope to be around after the first 30 yrs AFTER Dr. Buss have wound down so I may compare them to the 30 yrs or so he ran the team.

        Something tells me it will be a tad different.

  2. mazblast - Jul 16, 2014 at 12:11 AM

    The league suits need to sit down with the Players Association guys and tell them, “We’re moving on this. We can do it cleanly, or we can do it dirty. Clean is better for everyone in the long run. Please don’t force us to do it dirty–It could go on for years, and no one benefits except the lawyers.” The Players Association needs to respond, “Let’s agree on a timeline. If this doesn’t get done cleanly by XXX, you move on Plan B.”

    This is one of the rare times when the interests of the suits and the PA are in agreement. They need to be on the same page, keep each other informed, and stick to a schedule. Anything else is going to add to the mistrust already existing and further harm what looks to be an acrimonious CBA negotiation coming up.

  3. brianjoates - Jul 16, 2014 at 12:56 AM

    What’s going to happen is that Ballmer is going to withdraw his bid, as the NFL rolls out the red carpet for him to by the Buffalo Bills(and eventually move out west).

    The owners need to act and get him out of the league. He clearly is not of sound mind to run an NBA franchise.

  4. sportsnut101 - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:19 AM

    That would be dumb move to buy the bills over the clippers la or part of ny no1 cares for

  5. campcouch - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:25 AM

    The players won’t care. As long as Sterling is out of sight and the checks keep flowing, they’ll protest,Tweet and give quotes to a mic, but their convictions aren’t strong enough to do much else. They say they understand the business of basketball so they should understand that striking or walking out for moral disagreements won’t prevent the owners from withholding that game(s) check. And the farther the original issue moves in time, the less that these guys will care.

  6. myhawks1976 - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:27 AM

    Feldman…. you truly are atrocious as a blogger. Good god. If they had voted him out it most likely would have extended in to this coming season to, as he would have appealed to a federal court and sued on “illegal seizure of property” putting a hold on any transfer of ownership till the case was decided.

    you really need clicks that bad, or just don’t understand the legal system?

    • Kurt Helin - Jul 16, 2014 at 12:27 PM

      It’s not an illegal seizure because this is a franchise, not his own business (like his real estate holdings). Multiple times Sterling has signed documents giving the league power. Multiple lawyers have described this to me like a country club (or fraternity) — if you do something that brings harm to the club they can vote you out. It is in their bylaws. And Sterling certainly has done harm, sponsors pulled out.

      • bdazzler00 - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:26 PM

        Is there a clear definition of “harm” in the bylaws? Is there a dollar amount of harm caused by an owners personal behavior that is acceptable or not? If the case drags on and the season starts and the clippers are selling out games and differerent sponsors replace the ones that pulled out, will it impact the leagues case against sterling? The league doesn’t seem to be suffering financially because of this to me.

        I get a sense that the longer this drags out the less fans and sponsors will care about it.

  7. provguard - Jul 16, 2014 at 2:04 AM

    Everyone forgets the fans. What happens if no one attends the games. People lets change America and start standing up for Right…

    • 1historian - Jul 16, 2014 at 8:01 AM

      Good idea, poor reason. After the way people have dumped on Sterling he is going to draw this out as long as he can.

      At most people will show up with anti-Sterling signs which they’ll hold up for anyone with a camera, but they’ll still be there in the seats THEY paid good money for and the players will be there. They might have cryptic messages on their socks and what rhymes with socks but they’ll still be there.

  8. ncarolinarn7 - Jul 16, 2014 at 2:09 AM

    I would be pleased God’s plans and not the NBA’s plans would be followed for the Sterling’s lives. It would to no end from nothing Adam Silverh did find himself unable to shake Donald Sterling loose from his franchise. Not being mean but it doesn’t belong to Adamk Silver or the NBA.

    • seattlesuperchronic - Jul 16, 2014 at 2:22 AM


      • 22yearsagotoday - Jul 16, 2014 at 5:18 AM

        You don’t want to understand that post.

    • mackcarrington - Jul 16, 2014 at 2:39 AM

      “i don’t know where to go with that”.

      The hamster in the ball.

    • scottheis82 - Jul 16, 2014 at 3:07 AM

      Just reblogged this on illiteratencarolinarn7. com

  9. scottheis82 - Jul 16, 2014 at 2:59 AM

    The position for new Pbt writer is yours. When can you start?

    • 22yearsagotoday - Jul 16, 2014 at 5:18 AM

      RIght after church.

      • loungefly74 - Jul 16, 2014 at 9:42 AM

        dude…that was the best thread. thank you.

  10. glaglaboy - Jul 16, 2014 at 7:13 AM

    there would be no point in boycotting the season becos of sterling . that would kill business and draw so much attention on him .lots of jobs are at stake , hes been named enough already, the game belongs to the main actors, the players n the fans. this now has to be sorted behind close doors

  11. johnheisman - Jul 16, 2014 at 11:50 AM

    The Celtics hold the Clippers pick next year and as a Celtics fan, I would not be upset if the Sterling mess continues and effects the team chemistry causing more losses than expected from a solid team.

  12. mazblast - Jul 17, 2014 at 12:24 AM

    It would be very convenient if Donald “Sterling”, an 80-plus-year-old man who supposedly has prostate cancer, would not wake up some morning.

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