Report: Donald Sterling battling cancer along with public perception
MAY 01, 2014 11:28p ET
Disgraced Clippers owner Donald Sterling, already facing looming battles with both the NBA and his estranged wife, reportedly also is fighting for his life, having been diagnosed with prostate cancer, according to the New York Post and ESPN.
"They thought he would die two years ago," a source told the Post. "People have been predicting his imminent demise. I'm sure he has the best ... drugs money can buy. He can do anything to keep himself alive."
Sterling, 80, reportedly has been holed up in his Beverly Hills penthouse, having fled his Malibu mansion for fear that it's bugged. He has been "calling everyone, saying: 'Tell me I'm not a racist,'" a source told the Post, adding that the friends are refusing, thinking Sterling might be recording them.
''It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you're associating with black people. Do you have to?'' Sterling asks.
On Tuesday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver condemned the remarks, banned Sterling for life from any association with the league or his team, and fined him $2.5 million.
NBA owners seem as committed as Silver to ending Sterling's ownership of the Clippers. The league's advisory/finance committee held its first meeting about Sterling on Thursday, two days after Silver said he would urge owners to force a sale of the team.
The 10-member committee held a conference call to discuss "the process for termination of Donald T. Sterling's ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers," NBA executive vice president Mike Bass said in a statement.
"The committee unanimously agreed to move forward as expeditiously as possible and will reconvene next week."
A forced sale would require approval by three-fourths of the league's 30 owners. Silver said he was confident he would get the votes.
A number of big names already have expressed interest in buying the team that Sterling has owned since 1981, including Oprah Winfrey and Floyd Mayweather Jr.
First, owners must force Sterling to give it up -- which he may choose to fight. According to the league's constitution and bylaws, Silver or an owner would have to file a written charge against Sterling, who would have five days to respond. Silver would then call a hearing of the board of governors, which would vote after hearing the evidence against Sterling.
Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive hopes it doesn't come to that.
"I don't want to talk about kind of the legal side of it because I can't really comment on it, but my feeling is that I have faith in people," he said. "And I would hope that at some point Mr. Sterling would come to his senses and do the right thing. That he would apologize to Magic Johnson, that he would apologize to the fans, the league, the black community and he would do the right thing and he would accept what Commissioner Silver has suggested, he would put the team up for sale and perhaps even take a very small portion of the substantial profits and donate them to a good cause.
"It's not going to be easy to own a team where the fans don't welcome you, where the sponsors shun you and where you're not welcomed by the other owners. And I think he can do the right thing and, hopefully, good sense will prevail at some point."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.