NEW YORK: NBA officials met to discuss the league’s bid to strip Clippers owner Donald Sterling of his team but have not settled on a timeline for action against the disgraced billionaire.
A statement released Wednesday by NBA executive vice president Mike Bass said members of the league’s Advisory/Finance committee had spoken again in a conference call to address the process of ousting Sterling.
“The Committee reviewed the status of the search for a new CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers, was updated on meetings held this week between NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum and Clippers employees, and addressed the process and timing regarding the termination of Mr. Sterling’s ownership of the team,” Bass said.
A further meeting would take place next week.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling, the longest-tenured NBA team owner, for life after racist remarks he made in a private conversation with a girlfriend were made public.
The comments, first released by celebrity website TMZ, included Sterling saying he didn’t want his girlfriend bringing black people to Clippers games or posting photographs of herself on social media with black people.
A firestorm of outrage followed, leading the Clippers players to wear their uniforms inside out in a pre-game warmup before Silver banned Sterling and fined the 80-year-old real estate mogul $2.5 million dollars, the maximum allowed under league rules.
NBA owners also started the process of setting up a vote to strip the team from Sterling, a move that could push him to sell the Clippers, who are likely to attract bids of more than $600 million, or take the NBA to court in a legal fight that could be bitter and lengthy.
Meanwhile, Clippers co-owner Shelly Sterling told The Los Angeles Times on Wednesday that she hopes to maintain ownership of the team.
Sterling’s attempts to keep her share may put a snag in the league’s plans to strip her husband of ownership. The newspaper said she has hired a lawyer to help her keep her share.