(NEW YORK) — Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is fighting a battle with cancer, sources have confirmed to ESPN.com.
The news was first reported by the New York Post. Sources told the Post the 80-year-old Sterling has been battling prostate cancer for an extended period of time.
The Clippers lost to the Golden State Warriors 100 to 99 Thursday night in Game 6 of their best-of-seven NBA playoff series. The two teams will meet for the deciding Game 7 Saturday in L.A.
In other related news, an NBA owners’ panel seems committed to ending the tenure of Sterling as owner of the Clippers. Earlier this week, Sterling was banned for life from the NBA and fined $2.5 million after a recording surfaced of him making derogatory remarks about African-Americans.
The NBA released a statement saying its Advisory/Finance Committee met Thursday afternoon “to discuss the process for termination” of Sterling’s ownership of the Clippers. The statement said the committee “unanimously agreed to move forward as expeditiously as possible and will reconvene next week.”
Three-quarters of NBA team owners must agree in order to force Sterling to sell the Clippers.
In other related developments, Leon Jenkins, the president of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP, has resigned. Jenkins was scheduled to present Sterling with a lifetime achievement award from the organization next month. The honor was withdrawn when the scandal broke.
In his resignation letter, Jenkins stated, “Please be advised that the legacy, history and reputation of the NAACP is more important to me than the presidency. In order to separate the Los Angeles NAACP and the NAACP from the negative exposure I have caused the NAACP, I respectfully resign my position as President of the Los Angeles NAACP.”
Meanwhile, V. Stiviano, the woman heard on the tape with Sterling, is being sued by the disgraced NBA owner’s wife, Rochelle.
Rochelle Sterling, who goes by the name Shelly, claims in a lawsuit filed in March that Stiviano is a gold digger who received a $1.8 million home, a Ferrari, a Range Rover, and two Bentleys from her husband without her consent.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Clippers president Andy Roeser said Stiviano had sworn to “get even” for the lawsuit, and he blamed her for the release of the now-infamous audio recording.
Shelly Sterling’s lawsuit is similar to a 2002 case in which the Sterlings sued Alexandra Castro, claiming she illegally converted ownership of a Beverly Hills home into her name. Castro claimed Sterling bought her the house during a three-year affair. He later admitted having a relationship with Castro, and both sides reached a confidential agreement.
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