Los Angeles Business Journal

NBA Moves Against Sterling

By Jonathan Polakoff Monday, May 19, 2014

The National Basketball Association on Monday announced it was moving forward with the plan to allow team owners to decide whether Donald Sterling can keep ownership of the Clippers.

The NBA announced Monday that it has scheduled a hearing on June 3 on charges of damaging the league. At that time, Sterling can tell the NBA Board of Governors – the majority owners of each team – why he should keep the team.

For Sterling to be stripped of his ownership, a 75 percent majority – or 22 of 30 team owners – would have to vote to force that action.

Commissioner Adam Silver has said he is confident the owners will vote to oust Sterling, who has owned the team since 1981.

The date for that vote is not yet known.

Sterling has already said he will resist the league’s punishment for his racist comments that were leaked to TMZ. The NBA fined Sterling $2.5 million and banned him from league activities for life. He has until May 27 to respond.

Even as Sterling is seen by many owners as bad for business, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has publically questioned whether forcibly stripping him of the Clippers is fair.

If a sale is forced, the team is expected to sell for more than $1 billion.

The league said Sterling has engaged in other conduct that has impaired its relationship with fans and merchandising partners.

“All of these acts provide grounds for termination under several provisions of the NBA constitution and related agreements," the league said in a statement.

Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor, NBA chairman, will preside over the hearing, which is planned for two days before the start of the NBA Finals.