Shelly Sterling has been a fixture at Clippers games. She sits courtside, she and her friends turn the media dining room into “club Sterling” at Clippers games. Like her estranged husband, she basks in the celebrity (sycophantic though it is) of owning the Los Angeles Clippers.
She owns half the team and is not going to give it up willingly.
She said as much already and Thursday her attorney promised a fight to keep her share of the team, as he told the Associated Press.
“She will not agree to a forced or involuntary seizure of her interest,” said Shelly Sterling’s attorney, Pierce O’Donnell. “As her lawyers we will fight vigorously to defend her property rights….”
O’Donnell said Mrs. Sterling “abhors” the comments and that Silver had “exonerated” Mrs. Sterling in his statement last week by saying there was no decision made about other members of the family….
O’Donnell said Mrs. Sterling is an ardent Clippers fan and plans to attend Friday’s playoff game against Oklahoma City.
“We abhor guilt by association in America,” O’Donnell said. “The sins of the husband cannot be imputed to the wife or children.”
Well, except for Shelly Sterling shows up all over some of the housing discrimination lawsuits filed against Sterling. She is no innocent bystander here. She allegedly posed as a government inspector to both find out what race the tenants of their buildings were and to harass some of them. Just a week ago she said her husband was not a racist to the cameras. She is far, far from clean in all this.
But she could be tougher to remove.
Here is what NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said at his press conference regarding Shelly (it’s far from the exoneration her attorney claims):
“No, there have been no decisions about other members of the Sterling family, and I should say that this ruling applies specifically to Donald Sterling and Donald Sterling’s conduct only.”
As far as the players association has said — and very likely the sponsors and some of the fans feel the same way — there is no difference between her ownership and his.
That said, the Sterlings fight and bully in court. Silver had to know this was coming. When he stepped to the podium he had to be prepared for a fight in the courts. He seemed to be.