Shelly Sterling says she will fight; NBA answers back
MAY 11, 2014 7:21p ET
In her first interview since the NBA banned her estranged husband, Shelly Sterling said she would fight to keep her share of the Los Angeles Clippers and plans one day to divorce Donald Sterling.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has banned Donald Sterling for making racist comments and urged owners to force him to sell the team. Silver added that no decisions had been made about the rest of Sterling's family.
"I will fight that decision," Shelly Sterling said, according to a short story that ABC News posted Sunday with excerpts from her conversation with Barbara Walters. "To be honest with you, I'm wondering if a wife of one of the owners, and there's 30 owners, did something like that, said those racial slurs, would they oust the husband? Or would they leave the husband in?
"I don't know why I should be punished for what his actions were."
Shelly Sterling's attorney, Pierce O'Donnell, has said she will fight to retain her 50 percent ownership stake in the team.
Sterling also said that she "eventually" will divorce her husband, and that she hadn't yet done so due to financial considerations.
"For the last 20 years, I've been seeing attorneys for a divorce," she said. "In fact, I have here -- I just filed -- I was going to file the petition. I signed the petition for a divorce. And it came to almost being filed. And then, my financial adviser and my attorney said to me, `Not now.'"
Soon after the Walters-Sterling interview aired, the NBA had an answer for Sterling's wife.
League spokesman Mike Bass says that according to the NBA constitution, ''if a controlling owner's interest is terminated by a three-fourths vote, all other team owners' interests are automatically terminated as well.''
''It doesn't matter whether the owners are related as is the case here,'' Bass adds in a statement. ''These are the rules to which all NBA owners agreed to as a condition of owning their team.''
It is also confirmed that Donald Sterling will be sharing his side of the situation in his first publicized interview since the recordings were released with CNN's Anderson Cooper.
The Associated Press contributed to this report