Donald Sterling saga could be in holding pattern for a while

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Shelly Sterling is asking a court to verify her claim that she can sell the Clippers.

Proceedings began today, but they could take a while.

Dan Woike of The Orange County Register:

Michael Martinez and Linda Hall of CNN:

She also asked for an expedited hearing if the court couldn’t rule outright on her petition, said Pierce O’Donnell, Shelly Sterling’s attorney.

A hearing could be held in a week or two, O’Donnell said.

Update: Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:

As a reminder, the stakes are high for Shelly. If she loses this stage, the NBA will vote to remove Donald – and her with him – as the Clippers’ owner. That means the NBA will sell the team and give the Sterlings the proceeds, and Shelly won’t have a chance to negotiate herself a place in the franchise’s future with Steve Ballmer as the owner.

But the NBA almost assuredly won’t hold that vote unless Shelly is ruled not to control the trust that owns the team. If that trial won’t even begin until next month, not much of significance will likely happen in the interim.

There will be a lot of bluster, and Sterling’s ridiculous lawsuit against the NBA – a separate issue – will proceed. But the Clippers will remain the Sterlings’ until this aspect of the case wraps up.