After charging LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling and kick-starting the process to oust him, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said he would prefer to let the 80-year-old sell his team “on a reasonable timetable” rather than forcing him out.
Earlier this week the NBA announced that racist comments made by Sterling on released audio have seriously damaged the league.
The league has given Sterling until May 27 to respond to its charge and invited him to appear at a special hearing before the NBA Board of Governors set for June 3, after which the league’s 29 other owners who make up the board could vote to strip him of his team.
Under the NBA constitution and bylaws, Silver needs to muster at least a three-fourth’s majority vote to terminate Sterling from the franchise. Silver’s lawyer has threatened to fight any such action in court.
Asked at a news conference in New York whether he would consider trying to hash out a deal “man-to-man” to avert a confrontation, Silver noted that for the time being, the Clippers still belong to Sterling and his estranged wife, Shelly, a 50-percent owner though a family trust.
“It is their team to sell, and so he knows what the league’s point of view is, and so I’m sure if he wanted to sell the team on some reasonable timetable, I’d prefer he sell it than we go through this process,” Silver said. “So if that’s what you mean by man-to-man, I’m open to that.”
Still no word on who will buy the team once Sterling decides to let go, but we’ll keep you updated with the latest.
SOURCE: Reuters | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty