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Saturday, May 10, 2014
Understanding the NBA's Legal Strategy to oust Donald and Shelly Sterling

The NBA has designed a legal strategy to oust both Donald and Shelly Sterling. I learned about the strategy last night and wrote about it on

Here is an excerpt:

But Shelly Sterling's ownership of the Clippers should not be confused with control of the Clippers. This distinction reflects the different layers of NBA ownership. Most NBA owners are not in charge of their teams. They have been approved by the NBA to own some percentage of a franchise, but they do not represent their franchise on the NBA's Board of Governors and are not considered the official voice of their franchises. They are regarded as "non-controlling" owners. There are many perks to being a non-controlling owner, including attendance privileges, inside access to team operations and the ability to tell the world that you own an NBA team. But actual control over the team is not one of those benefits. Shelly Sterling is a non-controlling owner of the Clippers. 

Donald Sterling, in contrast, is in a more exclusive and powerful category as one of the NBA's 30 controlling owners. Until his ban, he had final say over all matters Clippers and represented the team in league matters. In his absence, the office of the NBA commissioner has become de facto controlling owner. Earlier today, the league—not Shelly Sterling—installed a new CEO, former Time Warner CEO Dick Parsons, to run the team. While Shelly Sterling has signaled support for the move, her support is irrelevant under the law. 

If Shelly Sterling wants to become controlling owner of the Clippers, the league would have to approve such a step. The NBA would not approve Shelly Sterling as controlling owner, sources close to the situation tell

To read the rest, click here.


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