NBA rejects Sterlings' plea bargain, will force Clippers sale

Sterlings offer to let Shelly sell the Clippers, NBA rebuffs them and proceeds with formal ouster

5/23/14 in NBA   |   JoeKukura   |   492 respect

Blog Photo - NBA rejects Sterlings' plea bargain, will force Clippers saleBanned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling offered the NBA an olive branch. The NBA took that olive branch and served to him in an antipasto with artichoke sauce. The NBA announced Friday that it will proceed along with their plan to force a sale of the Clippers franchise, ignoring the Sterlings' offer to sell the team voluntarily and on their own terms.

It's been a busy Friday in the world of Clipper turmoil. On Friday morning, Donald and Shelly Sterling made an "olive branch offer" in which they offered to sell the Clippers voluntarily and on their own terms. Wife Shelly would handle the deal, as husband Donald is under a lifetime banishment. This seemed like a nice, reasonable offer, because everyone could save face and the Sterlings would agree to get out if the picture.

No dice, declared the NBA league office. The NBA will still vote to force the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers franchise, CNN reported late Friday afternoon. That means the NBA negotiates the price and the buyer of the Clippers, without input from the Sterling family, and without giving any of the Sterlings an option to keep a minority share. This move is pending an owner vote, a process that begins June 3.

Blog Photo - NBA rejects Sterlings' plea bargain, will force Clippers saleIt's the NBA's way of saying, "You have a been a terrible owner, Donald Sterling, particularly in the last month. We do not trust you to find a suitable new owner. We will handle the process ourselves, and a check will be in the mail when we get around to it."

Well, in the exact words of NBA spokesman Mike Bass, "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 the this matter on June 3."

The NBA can force the sale if they get 23 of the 30 owners (a 75% majority) to approve a forced sale. Donald Sterling does not get a vote in these proceedings, but someone in the Clippers organization—probably Shelly—does get a vote.

Okay, so there goes my prediction that the NBA owners would vote unanimously to remove Donald Sterling.
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