Los Angeles Clippers co-owner Shelly Sterling will continue to be close to the organization as part of the terms of the team’s sale to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, according to the Associated Press.
Two sources told the AP that the $2 billion deal allows for up to 10 percent of the team — or $200 million — to be funneled into a charity run by Sterling.
Sterling and Ballmer would co-chair the foundation, which would target underprivileged families, battered women, minorities and inner city youths.
“To benefit those on the receiving end of Donald’s rather abhorrent remarks,” one of the sources said.
The NBA forced Donald Sterling to sell the Clippers after making racist remarks. He was also banned for life and fined $2.5 million. His wife, Shelly, was given authorization to sell the team to Ballmer. The Sterlings were ordered to sell 100 percent interest in the team.
Neither the Sterlings nor their attorney, Pierce O’Donnell, responded to requests by the AP to comment.
However, regarding the idea of Shelly Sterling’s involvement in the charity, one of the sources said: “The NBA was all over it in terms of support. It gave her a meaningful role and stake in the team, and gave the NBA 100 percent sale of the team.”
NBA spokesman Mike Bass did make it clear that Sterling would not have any involvement with the team.
“It is not accurate that Mrs. Sterling will have a role with the Clippers or stake in the team,” he said.
Another term of the deal is that Shelly Sterling would receive the title of “owner emeritus” and perks including floor seats, additional seats and parking to Clippers games.
Also, Ballmer can buy back the 10 percent portion of the team for a pre-determined price once Shelly Sterling dies.
“All the proceeds go to charity, it’s not going to go to her,” one of the sources said. “She’s walking away with a $2 billion check. That’s enough for her.”
Donald Sterling reportedly has still not signed off on the deal because the NBA has not agreed to lift the ban or the fine.
Sterling agreed to sell the team last week and drop his $1 billion federal lawsuit against the league.
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