Clippers sale not certain by October

Shelly Sterling, 79, arrives at court with her lawyer Pierce O'Donnell in Los Angeles, California...

Shelly Sterling, 79, arrives at court with her lawyer Pierce O'Donnell in Los Angeles, California July 10, 2014. (REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)

The Sports Xchange

, Last Updated: 3:22 PM ET

The pending sale of the Los Angeles Clippers and ouster of disgraced owner Donald Sterling might not be official by the start of the NBA season in October.

Commissioner Adam Silver confessed to the potential for a lagging resolution to the planned sale to Steve Ballmer because of litigious hurdles that are becoming unpredictable. Certainty is hard to come by with the courts playing a role in the end game.

"I'm not sure," Silver said. "Because we're not actually a party to those proceedings, and while I'm following the litigation and we have a lawyer in the courtroom who's giving us regular reports on it, they're in recess right now. At least based on my understanding of how it has proceeded, certainly Shelly (Sterling), it appears that she's done all the right things as set out in their trust agreement.

"I'll only say that if for whatever reason the judge ultimately doesn't decide in favor of Shelly, we'll reactivate our proceedings to terminate the franchise. I think there was never a question about that. We had scheduled a date, Shelly Sterling came forward and said you don't need to terminate the franchise, I'm going to sell it, and she sold it, and now we're in essence on hold since that sale is being challenged by her husband as to whether she has the right, and if the court finds in her favor the sale will move forward, and if not, we will move forward with our own proceedings."

The NBA Board of Governors cannot approve the sale to Ballmer, a former CEO at Microsoft who made a $2 billion bid and signed a binding agreement with Shelly Sterling, while it is being contested in court.

"As to the precise timing, my sense from listening to what the judge and reading what the judge has said is that once he reconvenes the hearing he will decide relatively quickly," Silver said Wednesday. "Sounds like he's being very complete. He's allowing in a lot of testimony. He's allowing all the lawyers to say their peace, and I think then he'll be prepared to rule."


Videos

Photos