NBA News Wire

Report: Sterling wants ban, fine lifted

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Donald Sterling expects the NBA to withdraw his $2.5 million fine and lifetime ban before he signs off on the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Los Angeles Times reported Friday that Sterling thought he was absolved from the penalties imposed by the league after he saw the draft of a league statement. It’s uncertain whether a formal appeal was filed with the NBA on his behalf or whether the league would consider rescinding the ban and fine.

The league issued the sanctions on April 29 after Sterling’s racially charged statements recorded by a girlfriend were made public and set off a firestorm. That set in motion a process leading to Sterlings agreeing to sell the franchise they have owned for nearly 35 years.

His wife, Shelly Sterling, recently agreed to the sale of the Clippers on behalf of the Sterling Family Trust to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for a record $2 billion.

Ballmer still needs approval from the league’s 30 team governors to take over the Clippers.

Sterling apparently changed his position from last week when his attorney, Bobby Samini, said the issues with the league were resolved and the sale would go forward.