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Interview: Shelly Sterling will fight NBA to keep Clippers

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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Shelly Sterling, the wife of banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, told ABC in an interview Sunday that she plans to file for divorce and “absolutely” will fight the NBA if it tries to force her to sell her stake of ownership with the Clippers.

“I will fight that decision,” she told Barbara Walters in an exclusive interview. “To be honest with you, I’m wondering if a wife of one of the owners, and there’s 30 owners, did something like that, said those racial slurs, would they oust the husband? Or would they leave the husband in?”

Shelly Sterling added that the Clippers franchise is her “passion” and “legacy to my family.”

“I’ve been with the team for 33 years, through the good times and the bad times,” she added.

There have been conflicting reports about whether Shelly Sterling intended to fight the NBA’s efforts to force her out.

The NBA believes it has grounds to remove her from ownership because she has never been approved by the Board of Governors as majority owner.

The NBA removed Andy Roeser as President of the team this week and installed Dick Parsons as CEO while giving Doc Rivers wide powers over basketball operations.

Two weeks ago, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced a lifetime ban and a $2.5 million fine for Donald Sterling on April 29, following racist comments from Sterling.

Shelly Sterling said she would “have to accept” whatever punishment the NBA handed down to her estranged husband, but claimed her stake in the team should be separate.

“I was shocked by what he said. And — well, I guess whatever their decision is — we have to live with it,” she said. “But I don’t know why I should be punished for what his actions were.”

She told Walters she believes her 80-year-old husband is suffering from “the onset of dementia.”

Alan is an expert gambling writer who works as one of the chief editors for Basketball Insiders. He has been covering online gambling and sports betting for over 8 years, having written for the likes of Sportlens,, The Sports Daily, 90min, and His particular specialisms include US online casinos and gambling regulations, and soccer and basketball betting. Based in London, Alan holds an MA in English Literature and is a passionate supporter of Chelsea FC.

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