The NBA called off a hearing to oust embattled Los Angeles Clippers co-owner Donald Sterling in advance of a vote on a potentially record-breaking deal negotiated by his wife, Shelly Sterling, to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.
Shelly Sterling negotiated the deal despite objections expressed through her estranged husband Donald’s attorneys. She said in a statement late Thursday that she agreed to sell the team to Ballmer “under her authority as the sole trustee of the Sterling Family Trust, which owns the Clippers.”
The NBA said in a statement Friday that the league, Shelly Sterling and the Sterling Family Trust had “resolved their dispute over the ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers.”
“Under the agreement, the Clippers will be sold to Steve Ballmer, pending approval by the NBA Board of Governors, and the NBA will withdraw its pending charge to terminate the Sterlings’ ownership of the team,” it said.
The ownership hearing had been scheduled for next Tuesday.
STILL COMMITTED — Investor Chris Hansen says he remains committed to getting the NBA back to Seattle, even though he just lost one of his biggest partners in the process.
Hansen released a statement Friday congratulating former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on his agreement to purchase the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion.
But Ballmer’s deal in Los Angeles leaves him out of Hansen’s investment group that has attempted to get a team back to Seattle. Hansen says his remaining partners are still committed.
HOLDING ON — New York Knicks President Phil Jackson talked to Carmelo Anthony about postponing free agency, and the All-Star forward responded that he’ll think about it.
Anthony can opt out of the final year of his contract, which would pay him $23.3 million, and has repeatedly said that was his plan. But Jackson said there are financial benefits to Anthony waiting, for both sides, and told him that during a dinner about a month ago.
ANTICS OVER — Lance Stephenson’s ear-blowing antics are over. That was the order the Indiana guard got from Pacers President Larry Bird, who took issue with Stephenson’s antics in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Miami Heat.
Stephenson was caught by television cameras blowing into the ear of Heat star LeBron James. That led to a conversation between Stephenson and Bird.
“He said, ‘Don’t do it again,’?” Stephenson said, recalling his talk with Bird. “So I’m not going to do it again.”