NBA to proceed with Sterling vote despite Clippers sale agreement

LOS ANGELES Fri May 30, 2014 11:46pm IST

A supporter holds a photo cutout of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling while standing in line for the NBA Playoff game 5 between Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California April 29, 2014. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

A supporter holds a photo cutout of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling while standing in line for the NBA Playoff game 5 between Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center in Los Angeles, California April 29, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The NBA said on Friday it plans to go ahead with a vote on terminating Donald Sterling's ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers, although it signaled that an agreement struck by Sterling's wife to sell the franchise was its preferred course.

The National Basketball Association said in a statement that Shelly Sterling notified the NBA that she had reached an agreement to sell the club to former Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer.

The NBA said it was still awaiting the necessary documentation from Shelly Sterling on the record $2 billion agreement with Ballmer and that it would proceed with the June 3 meeting of its Board of Governors on whether to strip Sterling of ownership for racist remarks.

Sterling, the controlling owner of the Los Angeles Clippers for 33 years, was banned for life and fined $2.5 million by the NBA after TMZ.com posted an audio recording of him criticizing a female friend for publicly associating with black people.

A sale of the Clippers, as well as the termination of Sterling's ownership, must be approved by NBA team owners.

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Mary Milliken and Leslie Adler)

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