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Attorney: Shelly Sterling wants to keep Clippers

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Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford, left, passes to guard Chris Paul during the first half of their NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Associated Press

First published May 08 2014 11:14PM
Updated May 8, 2014 11:19PM

The estranged wife of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling will fight to retain her 50 percent ownership stake in the team, her lawyer said Thursday, adding an unwanted twist to the NBA’s plan to force new ownership on the franchise.

Shelly Sterling’s attorney, Pierce O’Donnell, said his client "will not agree to a forced or involuntary seizure of her interest."

"As her lawyers we will fight vigorously to defend her property rights," he said.

O’Donnell said Mrs. Sterling has no interest in managing the Clippers and wants a new investor group to come in with a professional management team.

O’Donnell also told The Associated Press that Shelly Sterling has been separated from her husband for the last year and is considering divorce. There is no record of legal separation documents being filed, though O’Donnell said the couple is living apart.

Last week, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Donald Sterling from the NBA for life and urged league owners to force him to sell the team.

The move came after a recording surfaced in which Sterling made racist comments, telling friend V. Stiviano that he didn’t want her to bring black people to Clippers games.

Crawford honored

Just as he has to wait to come into games, Jamal Crawford had to be patient about receiving the NBA Sixth Man Award.

The 34-year-old guard was honored on Thursday, a week later than usual. The delay was caused by the controversy involving team ownership.

Crawford became the oldest recipient and the first to win with different teams. He also was honored as the league’s best player off the bench while with the Atlanta Hawks in 2009-10.

"It’s pretty cool," he said during a presentation at the team’s practice facility, with teammates including Chris Paul and Blake Griffin cheering him and poking fun of his suit and tie.

Crawford led the league’s reserve players in scoring this season, averaging 18.6 points. He came off the bench in 45 of 69 games he played in, helping the Clippers to a 57-25 record, their best regular-season mark in franchise history.

Wizards refocuson Pacers’ Hibbert

All of a sudden, the Washington Wizards are talking about what they need to do slow down Indiana Pacers center Roy Hibbert.

His role in the teams’ best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series sure changed quickly.

Heading into Game 3 in Washington on Friday night, the Wizards want to prevent Hibbert from getting the ball too close to the basket, so as to avoid a repeat of what happened in Game 2. Hibbert shot 10 for 13, finished with 28 points and had nine rebounds as the Pacers tied the series at a game apiece by winning 86-82 at home.

Says Wizards center Marcin Gortat: "Definitely, that’s not what we expected."

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