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Report: NBA trying to remove Shelly Sterling from Clippers' ownership

Shelly Sterling (Noel Vasquez/Getty Images) Shelly Sterling has been rooting for her Clippers throughout the playoffs. (Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

Shelly Sterling, the estranged wife of Donald Sterling, has said she'd like to keep her 50 percent ownership of the Clippers, but the NBA believes it "has the legal grounds to oust both Shelly Sterling and her husband as owners," according to ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne, citing league sources.

Commissioner Adam Silver specifically punished Donald Sterling, suspending him for life and levying a $2.5 million fine.

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Writes Shelburne: "[Shelly Sterling] has publicly and privately cooperated with the league in its actions to ban her husband for life and move to oust him from ownership. However, the league's contention will be that Shelly Sterling — while entitled to a 50 percent interest in the franchise — has never been approved by the board of governors as the controlling owner. She and team president Andy Roeser, who went on an indefinite leave of absence this week, were only alternate governors.

"In order to become the team's new controlling owner, Shelly Sterling would have to be approved by the board of governors, which is unlikely given her association with her husband of 58 years."

The Clippers are down 2-1 to the Thunder in the Western Conference semifinals. Game 4 is Sunday afternoon in Los Angeles.

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