LOS ANGELES, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has agreed to let his estranged wife Shelly Sterling, an alternate governor of the team, negotiate a forced sale of the team, according to a report of ESPN Friday.
The reported arrangement is the first indication that Donald Sterling may be willing to give up his share of the team without a fight.
Shelly Sterling and her lawyers have been in discussions with the NBA since her husband was banned for life by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver April 29 for racially tinged comments.
Shelly Sterling has indicated that she wants to maintain some ownership of the team. However, a potential obstacle is that NBA by-laws prevent Sterling from transferring a controlling interest in the team to anyone. A new owner would need to be approved by the board of governors, and Shelly Sterling likely would not be approved, an ESPN source said.
Despite the Sterling's effort in control of the team, NBA spokesman Mike Bass said the league was still moving forward with its efforts to force a sale.
He said in a release that "we continue to follow the process set forth in the NBA Constitution regarding termination of the current ownership interests in the Los Angeles Clippers and are proceeding toward a hearing on this matter on June 3."
At the hearing, the NBA's board of governors can force a sale of the team with a two-thirds vote in support terminating Sterling 's ownership of the Clippers
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, 80, was given a life ban from the NBA and a 2.5 million dollars penalty on April 29 after the celebrity news website TMZ.com posted a 10-minute audio recording, a taped conversation between Sterling and his girlfriend in which Sterling allegedly told his girlfriend not to post photographs of herself with black people and not to bring African-Americans to Clippers games.