2 May 2014

NBA owners likely to force Sterling out

1:09 pm on 2 May 2014

The National Basketball Association says it's moving forward in the process to force suspended Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling to sell the team, after its billionaire owner was banned for making racist comments.

The 10-member Advisory-Finance Committee met through a conference call and unanimously voted to pursue the ouster of Sterling as quickly as possible. The committee will meet again next week.

One NBA club owner says the owners seem likely force out the disgraced Sterling, as speculation intensifies about who'd buy the Clippers.

The NBA has imposed a lifetime ban on Sterling and a $3 million fine but a three-quarters vote of owners is needed to force the real estate tycoon to sell.

Sterling's the longest-serving owner in the NBA after buying the team for $14 million in 1981.

However the Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive says he expects a unanimous 29-0 vote in favour of forcing Sterling out.

A forced sale could come at an opportune time for Sterling, whose club has been valued at $665 million but could go for much more, with the NBA preparing to renegotiate its lucrative television contract.

But Sterling hasn't shied away from litigation in the past and could choose to fight expulsion from the league through the courts.

He hasn't responded to Silver's sanctions and has kept a low profile since a recording of his racist comments surfaced at the weekend.