Why the NBA won't allow Shelly Sterling to control the Clippers

Donald Sterling reportedly wants to concede control of the Clippers so his wife (left) can sell the team.
John W. McDonough/SI

Sources familiar with the NBA have told SI.com the league will not approve Shelly Sterling as controlling-owner. The league does not want the Sterlings involved with the NBA. The league also has wide discretion to reject new owners, including for reasons of moral character. Shelly Sterling's ties to her husband in the housing lawsuits could be grounds alone for the NBA to reject her as controlling owner (the fact that Donald Sterling was not disciplined over the housing litigation does not preclude the league from using the litigation against Shelly).

Michael McCann is a Massachusetts attorney and the founding director of the Sports and Entertainment Law Institute at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. He is also the distinguished visiting Hall of Fame Professor of Law at Mississippi College School of Law.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.