An individual familiar with the negotiations who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly said Monday that there were two options for Donald Sterling — to either sign or go to court. But even if he wins in court, he’s ultimately going to be paying himself the damages the individual said because his wife Shelly Sterling has agreed to indemnify the NBA against all lawsuits, including by her husband.
Donald Sterling’s comments to V. Stiviano included telling her to not bring black people to Clippers games, specifically mentioning Hall of Famer Magic Johnson. They resulted in a storm of outrage from the public and players and even prompted President Barack Obama to comment on what he called Sterling’s “incredibly offensive racist statements.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver ultimately decided to ban Donald Sterling for life, fine him millions, and began efforts to force Sterling to sell the team. Those efforts ended with Shelly Sterling’s deal with Ballmer.
If this deal ultimately goes through, its terms allow Shelly Sterling to remain close to the organization by allowing for up to 10 percent of the team — or $200 million — to be spun off into a charitable foundation that she would essentially run.
Shelly Sterling and Ballmer would be co-chairs of the foundation, which would target underprivileged families, battered women, minorities and inner city youths.
Under the deal Shelly Sterling would also get the title of “owner emeritus” and be entitled to continuing perks such as floor seats, additional seats at games and parking.
One of the individuals said the deal also includes conditions that allow Ballmer to buy back the 10 percent portion of the team for a pre-designated price upon Shelly Sterling’s death.