Shelly Sterling was in charge of negotiating the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. The NBA previously made it clear that allowing Shelly to remain a part of the organization after Donald Sterling has been banned for life is not an option, but that doesn’t mean she won’t be connected to the team in any way if Ballmer buys it.
According to CBS News, the agreement between the Sterling Family Trust and Ballmer allows for up to 10% of the team ($200 million) to be used toward a charitable foundation that would be run by both Shelly Sterling and Ballmer. The foundation will reportedly be dedicated to underprivileged families, battered women, minorities, and inner-city youths.
The idea to allow Shelly to continue some role in the team was floated early on by her attorney, Pierce O’Donnell – neither he nor Shelly Sterling responded to a request for comment – and it was enthusiastically agreed to by the NBA. “The NBA was all over it in terms of support,” one of the individuals said. “It gave her a meaningful role and stake in the team, and gave the NBA 100 percent sale of the team.”
While the NBA has supposedly agreed to the charity work and Shelly’s involvement with it, a league spokesman said she will have absolutely no involvement with the basketball franchise itself if the deal goes through.
“It’s not accurate that Mrs. Sterling will have a role with the Clippers or a stake in the team,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said.
Of course, it remains unclear where Donald Sterling stands with regard to the sale of the Clippers at the moment. After dropping his lawsuit against the NBA and agreeing to sign off on the agreement, Sterling has apparently decided that he wants his lifetime ban and $2.5 million fine rescinded before he proceeds.