Divorce of Donald and Shelly Sterling Could Greatly Complicate Clippers' Fate

Over the past couple of weeks the Donald Sterling saga has unfolded before the world's eyes. A lot has been said about the future of the Los Angeles Clippers and Sterling's potential to remain an owner of the organization. One x-factor in the ongoing drama is the role played by Sterling's wife, Shelly. Particularly interesting is the suggestion that she may file for divorce from her estranged husband, and in the process claim that the Clippers are at least partially her property, complicating an already difficult situation.

Shelly Sterling recently indicated her intention to divorce Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, and that she is ready to fight the NBA in its attempts to force Sterling to sell. In an interview with ABC News' Barbara Walters, Shelly Sterling wondered aloud if an NBA owner's wife had made the racially insensitive comments, which precipitated this situation, would cause an NBA owner husband to have to sell.

Shelly Sterling says she believes that it would be unfair to punish her for Donald's actions, and that she believes that Donald may have made the comments as a result of the onset of dementia. She also indicated that she would "love" for him to transfer his ownership stake to her.

As the state of the Los Angeles Clippers continues to play out, it is likely that the high net worth divorce proceedings of the Sterlings will complicate an already complex situation. Though it is too early to tell exactly how the Sterling's divorce will affect the process, at its core is Shelly Sterling's claim to be half owner of the Clippers, and that the NBA should not be able to force her to sell her interest in the basketball team as a result of misdeeds done by her estranged husband.

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