Just before Adam Sterling announced that Donald Sterling has been banned from the NBA for life and fined $2.5 million, the Los Angeles Clippers owner reportedly told Jim Gray of Fox News that the team is not for sale. Technically, that is true.
“I just spoke with Donald Sterling on the telephone just moments ago. He is unaware of what is going to happen to him,” Gray said. “He has not been notified. He also said that he really didn’t want to comment on the record. However, the team is not for sale. And he will not be selling the team.”
Gray added that Sterling didn’t wish to say anything else on the record, so he was honoring his request. While the Clippers are not currently for sale, that could change in the coming months. Based on the message Silver sent, prospective buyers — ahem, Magic Johnson — should start preparing their bids.
Silver has clearly spoken with enough NBA owners to be confident that he will be able to get the 75% vote necessary to force Sterling out of the league. That said, Sterling has plenty of money, loves fighting legal battles and is not going to go down without a fight.