Forcing Donald Sterling to sell Clippers may not be slam dunk

LOS ANGELES (CBS) -- With overwhelming support from fans, the Clippers' victory Tuesday night was a slam dunk. But forcing Donald Sterling to sell his team may not be.

According to the NBA's constitution and bylaws, Commissioner Adam Silver is responsible for "protecting the integrity of the game...and preserving public confidence in the league."

The league's constitution says the commissioner now has three days to provide Sterling with a written copy of the accusations against him. Sterling will have five days to respond. A special meeting of the board of governors will be held within 10 days of Sterling's reply.

If 75 percent of the board later votes to terminate Sterling, the commissioner will take over control of the Clippers, set a price and sell the team.

But Sterling could tie everything up in court.

"He can litigate and slow it down as much as his resources and legal process will allow," says David Carter, a professor of sports business at the University of Southern California. "Or he can potentially dictate terms and say, 'I will sell the team, I will work with you, but you have to give me some ability to orchestrate that sale.'"

NBA players were prepared to boycott if Sterling wasn't punished
So far the Clippers owner has not responded to the NBA's decision to push him out. But some big names have already expressed interest in buying the team.

Oprah Winfrey told CBS News she may partner with media mogul David Geffen and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. Boxing champ Floyd Mayweather Jr. has thrown his hat in the ring, and so has hip hop entrepreneur Sean "P. Diddy" Combs.

Twenty-three out of 30 teams will have to vote to oust Sterling. The NBA says the Clippers will get a vote, but it's not known yet who will represent the Clippers. A subcommittee of owners is planning to meet Thursday to discuss the next steps in the process.


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