NBA responds to Donald Sterling’s transfer of Clippers to wife Shelly

Clippers owner Donald Sterling wants to cede control of the Los Angeles basketball franchise to his wife, Shelly Sterling, and allow her to orchestrate a sale.

The NBA, however, has yet to approve the transfer.

“We continue to follow the process set forth in the NBA Constitution regarding termination of the current ownership interests in the Los Angeles Clippers and are proceeding toward a hearing on this matter on June 3,” league spokesperson Mike Bass said.

Article 5 of the NBA Constitution states that no membership can be transferred “in whole or in part, directly or indirectly” without league approval.

The member in question — in this case, Donald Sterling — must submit a written request to the NBA commissioner, who then takes steps to vet the new prospective member. League owners must then approve the transfer with a three-fourths majority vote.

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Deadspin report questions Clippers CEO Dick Parsons’ basketball background

In various articles dating back to 1990, Clippers interim CEO Dick Parsons has been described as a former Hawaii letterman — alternatively a “basketball star” or “basketball jock.”

Deadspin revealed Thursday that the oft-reported biographical detail is false. As lengthy as Parsons’ resume is — former chair of Citigroup and Time Warner, experience on multiple U.S. presidential staffs — he never played on a college varsity team.

It may simply be that reporters over the years never fact-checked accurately, and the story was embellished.

“Dick played on the freshman team at the University of Hawaii in 1964-65,” Ed Adler, a spokesperson for Parsons, said in a statement. “He has never said that he played varsity, that he lettered, or that he was a good player.” Continue reading

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Mavericks owner Mark Cuban candid about his own prejudices

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In the post-Sterling NBA, most franchise owners wouldn’t dare try to offer anything nuanced or controversial about racism. Better to dish out a strong rebuke and carry on.

Mark Cuban isn’t most owners. In an extended interview at Inc. magazine’s GrowCo Conference in Nashville, Cuban talked about Clippers owner Donald Sterling, race and the NBA. The Dallas Mavericks owner said he knew how he would vote after the league’s June 3 hearing to decide whether or not to oust Sterling, hinting that he might have to be “a hypocrite” with his decision.

What attracted more attention was his comment about everyone’s inherent biases.

“We’re all prejudiced in one way or another,” Cuban said. “If I see a black kid in a hoodie and it’s late at night, I’m walking to the other side of the street. And if on that side of the street, there’s a guy that has tattoos all over his face — white guy, bald head, tattoos everywhere — I’m walking back to the other side of the street. The list goes on of stereotypes that we all live up to, and are fearful of.” Continue reading

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NBA charges Donald Sterling with damaging league, sets June 3 hearing

Nearly three weeks after banning him for life, the NBA has charged Donald Sterling with damaging the league and set up a hearing that could terminate his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Sterling has the right to defend himself with a presentation on June 3, when the NBA Board of Governors has planned a special hearing to assess the charge.

He also has the right to respond to the league by May 27. The board can force him out with a three-fourths majority vote. Continue reading

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Donald Sterling hires lawyer, threatens NBA with lawsuit

Clippers owner Donald Sterling has hired antitrust lawyer Maxwell Blecher and threatened to sue the NBA, a league source confirmed.

SI.com first reported the news.

Blecher wrote a letter to NBA executive vice president and general counsel Rick Buchanan, claiming that his client — banned from NBA activities for life more than two weeks ago for racist comments — had done nothing wrong and that “no punishment is warranted.” Blecher also states that Sterling will not pay the $2.5 million fine NBA commissioner Adam Silver had levied on him.

Blecher also wrote that Sterling has not violated any articles in the NBA constitution, and that the league in turn has violated his client’s “due process rights.” Continue reading

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Donald Sterling: Shelly should keep her half of Los Angeles Clippers

Donald Sterling said in a Wednesday broadcast that his wife Shelly deserves to keep her share of the Los Angeles Clippers.

In the second part of a CNN interview recorded on Sunday, the banned Clippers owner told host Anderson Cooper that he thinks Shelly has already filed divorce papers. Sterling had referred to her as his ex-wife during the segment of the interview that aired Monday.

“One wife, 58 years,” he told Cooper. “And she loved the team and always helped me with everything. If for some reason I can’t have the team, I think that she should have her interest. She didn’t do anything. I brought all of this on her.”

Shelly Sterling has vowed to fight for her stake in the franchise, which is held in a shared family trust. A divorce could complicate the battle due to California’s community property law.

The NBA released a statement on Sunday saying that if a controlling owner’s share is terminated, all other shares of the franchise are as well. Continue reading

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Full transcript: Magic Johnson responds to Donald Sterling in CNN interview

Trancript courtesy of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360°.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: We begin our conversation today talking about the first recording that surfaced, the recording that started it all.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

COOPER: When you first heard the audiotape that was released a couple of weeks ago, what did you think?

EARVIN “MAGIC” JOHNSON, FORMER NBA PLAYER: Well, I was just — I was blown away.

I was — I couldn’t believe that he had said those things, first of all, made those statements, those racist statements, and then, you know, threw me in, “Don’t bring him to my games.”

And so you personally attack me. And so — and I had known Donald, not very well. I knew him. I have met with him three or four times, been to his office.

COOPER: So, how — I mean, so you — so were you guys friends?

JOHNSON: Yes.

COOPER: You were acquaintances?

JOHNSON: I would say we were friends.

My first trip, when I got here in L.A. over 35 — about 35 years ago, Dr. Buss took me to his beach house for his annual beach house party in the summertime. So that was one of the first things that I did.

So, to reflect back to that, to these statements he made about myself and minorities, it was just disappointing. It was — I was in disbelief that he would say these things, and then, you know, to throw me into the situation. Continue reading

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NBA advisory committee meets again

The NBA advisory-finance committee met again Tuesday afternoon via teleconference to discuss the ongoing process of removing Donald Sterling as the owner of the Clippers.

Commissioner Adam Silver said Monday that the league is moving “expeditiously” toward that goal.

“The Committee discussed the recent media appearances by Donald Sterling and Shelly Sterling, received updates on the hiring of Dick Parsons as the Los Angeles Clippers interim CEO and on his meeting yesterday with Clippers employees, and reviewed the status of the charge for termination of the Clippers’ ownership,” league spokesperson Mike Bass said in a statement.

It will reconvene again next week.

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Magic Johnson responds to Donald Sterling in CNN interview

Magic Johnson responded to Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s accusations in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, which will air tonight at 8 p.m. ET.

Sterling had questioned Johnson’s contributions to the African American community, and said that the NBA Hall of Famer’s HIV-status makes him a poor role model for children. Continue reading

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Full transcript: Donald Sterling’s interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper

Transcript courtesy of CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360°.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: So, did that recording capture the real Donald Sterling, or was he being set up?

He has very strong opinions on that, as he tried to answer the fundamental question, is he a racist?

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DONALD STERLING, OWNER, LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS: I’m not a racist.

I made a terrible, terrible mistake. And I’m here with you today to apologize and to ask for forgiveness for all the people that I have hurt. And I have hurt so many people, so many innocent people.

And I have hurt myself. You know, I spoke to a girl that I was fond of. And I don’t know why I can never — when I listen to that tape, I don’t even know how I could say words like that.

I’m not a racist. I love people. I always have. But those words came out of my mouth, I guess. And I’m so sorry. And I’m so apologetic.

COOPER: What are you sorry about?

STERLING: Well, I’m sorry that so many people are hurt.

My little grandchild goes to a Catholic nursery. And they were passing around candy to everybody. When they got to her, they said, “We don’t give candy to racists,” 7 to 9. Continue reading

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