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SBD/August 14, 2014/Franchises
Donald Sterling Seemingly Concedes Clippers Sale After Appeals Court Denies Petition
Published August 14, 2014
SHELL GAME: In California, Jeff Miller writes the "noisy euphoria and happy chaos that followed" Ballmer officially taking over the team helped "muffle the fact the name Sterling isn’t going anywhere." Shelly Sterling will "still be right there -- sitting courtside, hanging in the fancy in-arena lounges." As part of the sale to Ballmer, she was "bestowed with the titles of 'No. 1 Fan For Life' and 'Owner Emeritus.'" She is "being paraded as some sort of savior -- the person who ultimately forced Donald Sterling out -- when she should be quietly accepting Ballmer's money and, like her husband, going away" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 8/14). Columnist Kevin Blackistone said the sale may be complete "in the public perception," but it is "troubling" that Shelly Sterling is still part of the team. She was a "partner with her husband, who was involved in the lawsuits and who herself was accused of making racist statements." ESPNs J.A. Adande said, “It is the cost of doing business. In order to get rid of Donald Sterling, you need to have her help to facilitate that. She wanted something in exchange" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 8/13). ESPN’s Dan Le Batard said, "It's not fair, but it was negotiated. The NBA needed Donald Sterling ... away from this team. They needed guys not to boycott at the beginning of next season. They needed Doc Rivers to keep working there. This was negotiated to move this along.” But ESPN's Bomani Jones said Shelly was the "inspector woman who used to go door to door to check the races of the people who lived in Donald Sterling's properties to see if they were up to snuff to live there." Jones: "She’s going to have a visible role and people aren’t going to have a problem with it. Why? Because saying stuff behind closed doors and using some naughty words is a much bigger deal than things that actually matter" (“Highly Questionable,” ESPN, 8/13).