In the ongoing saga that is the Donald Sterling racist comments, a new wrinkle has been forming. This one involves his estranged wife, Shelly Sterling.
We’ve told you recently about how Shelly Sterling is suing V. Stiviano, the woman who is heard on the now-infamous recording with Donald Sterling. Shelly says that the money and cars that her husband gave Stiviano were not entirely his to give. They were half hers. And she wants them back.
This notion of whats-his-is-hers is at the heart of the new development. The NBA has banned Donald Sterling for life over his racist comments. His team does not want him around. Very few people were sorry to see him ridden out of NBA Town on a rail. Most think that he should be forced out of ownership of the L.A. Clippers.
But here is where Shelly Sterling takes exception. Because what’s his is hers. Shelly Sterling has a 50% stake in the team.
“I was shocked by what he said. And — well, I guess whatever their decision is — we have to live with it,” Shelly recently told ABC. “But I don’t know why I should be punished for what his actions were.”
Shelly Sterling has said she would fight to keep the Clippers.
The NBA had already seen this issue coming, and were ready with a response.
“Under the NBA Constitution, if a controlling owner’s interest is terminated by a 3/4 vote, all other team owners’ interests are automatically terminated as well,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said. “It doesn’t matter whether the owners are related as is the case here. These are the rules to which all NBA owners agreed to as a condition of owning their team.”
Sterling’s attorney begged to differ.
“We do not agree with the league’s self-serving interpretation of its constitution, its application to Shelly Sterling or its validity under these unique circumstances,” Pierce O’Donnell said. “We live in a nation of laws. California law and the United States Constitution trump any such interpretation.”
Magic Johnson weighed in on the Sterling ownership issue recently.
“Those guys are not going to play for anybody (named) Sterling,” Johnson said. “It’s just how it is.”
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