TIME Basketball

Shelly Sterling: Why Should I Suffer and Lose My Team?

Clippers Owner Donald Sterling File Photo
Clippers Owner Donald Sterling and wife Shelly Sterling watch as the The Los Angeles Clippers host the Milwaukee Bucks at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. John Green—AP

During an interview with the New York Times, the estranged wife of embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling claims she did nothing wrong, while her lawyer warns that he'll dig up dirt on other NBA owners if he has to

If the NBA had any hope Shelly Sterling would go down quietly by her estranged husband’s side, they were wrong.

During an interview with the New York Times on Monday, the 79-year-old co-owner of the franchise said she was being unfairly targeted for her husband’s actions.

Sterling’s comments come after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver stated that if 75% of the league’s owners vote to terminate the interest of Donald Sterling, then the stakes of fellow partners in the franchise would be nixed as well.

“It doesn’t matter whether the owners are related,” said NBA spokesman Mike Bass. “These are the rules to which all NBA owners agreed to as a condition of owning their team.”

However, Shelly Sterling questioned whether a male owner would be subjected to the same treatment.

“If the wife of one of the owners had done this, and if the roles were reversed, would they take the team away from the man? Is it something sexist? Is it the man’s club?” Sterling told the Times.

“I didn’t do anything wrong. Why should I suffer and lose my team?”

Shelly Sterling’s attorney Pierce O’Donnell said they were prepared to go to war to keep the team and added that he would scrutinize the past behavior of fellow owners if he had to.

“I want to know a lot of different things about the records of the NBA and what information they have about the conduct or misconduct of other owners that was not acted upon,” said O’Donnell. “It’s in everybody’s best interests to avoid Armageddon.”

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