What at first appeared to be a smooth process to remove Donald Sterling as owner of the Clippers has turned into something of a nightmare for the NBA. Initially, Sterling seemed fine with Steve Ballmer’s $2 million bid, but he has completely reversed course and will fight this until the very end.
The flip side of this is that players and coaches will not want to be associated with Clippers if Sterling is still the owner. That means, for the best interest of the league, this needs to conclude with Sterling being removed by the start of next season because it’s not inconcievable that players will refuse to play. However, league commissioner Adam Silver doesn’t sound confident Sterling being removed before then.
Per David Aldridge on Twitter:
Commissioner Adam Silver said this afternoon at his news conference following the annual Board of Governors meeting that while the NBA is doing everything it can to move Donald Sterling out as owner of the Clippers, he cannot say with certainly that Donald or Shelly Sterling won’t still own the team at the start of next season, due to the ongoing probate hearing between the Sterlings and Donald Sterling’s pending lawsuit against the league.