Donald Sterling sale: Clippers owner, wife Shelly, NBA, and lawyers not on same page.

Donald Sterling Authorizes Sale of Clippers, Vows He Will Never Sell Clippers

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May 28 2014 3:13 PM

Donald Sterling Authorizes Sale of Clippers, Vows He Will Never Sell Clippers

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The Sterlings in April.

Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

After days of confusion, the New York Times gets to the bottom of the Donald Sterling mess with a succinct report: the reason that it's not clear what's happening with the Los Angeles Clippers is that Sterling appears to have legally authorized the team's sale and vowed to never sell it.

The Times has a copy of a signed letter from Sterling authorizing his wife Shelly and the NBA to discuss a sale:

It reads, in part: “This letter confirms that Donald T. Sterling authorizes Rochelle Sterling to negotiate with the National Basketball Association regarding all issues in connection with a sale of the Los Angeles Clippers team, owned by LAC Basketball Club, Inc.”
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But:

One of his lawyers, Maxwell M. Blecher, later said that Sterling was disavowing anything his wife was doing to sell the team.
“He’s not interested in selling,” Blecher said in an interview with ESPN. “He’s going to fight to the bloody end.”

Sterling's hearing over the league's move to assume ownership of the team (and handle its sale) is on June 3. Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that Shelly Sterling is asking potential buyers to submit their bids by 5 p.m. Eastern time today.

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Ben Mathis-Lilley edits the Slatest. Follow @Slatest on Twitter.

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