UPDATE 5-NBA moves ahead on Clippers sale, cancels Sterling hearing

Fri May 30, 2014 7:55pm EDT

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(New throughout, adds NBA agreement with Shelly Sterling)

By Eric Kelsey

LOS ANGELES May 30 (Reuters) - The National Basketball Association said on Friday that it has reached an agreement with the estranged wife of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling to sell the team of which she is co-owner.

The deal between the NBA and Shelly Sterling, which is contingent on approval of NBA owners, would avoid a showdown on Tuesday between the owners and Sterling, who has already been banned from the league for life and fined $2.5 million for secretly recorded racist remarks that were widely reported and harshly condemned.

Sterling's attorney, Maxwell Blecher, said he had no comment on the NBA's move to tentatively approve the $2 billion sale of the Clippers by Shelly Sterling to former Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer.

Sterling, 80, on Friday sued the NBA and league Commissioner Adam Silver in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles for $1 billion.

As a result of the settlement, the league canceled its Tuesday hearing and vote to terminate Sterling's ownership.

As part of the deal between Shelly Sterling, the Sterling Family Trust, which owns the Clippers, and the NBA, she agreed not to sue the league.

Donald Sterling has listed the Sterling Family Trust as a plaintiff in his suit against the NBA which alleges breach of contract, antitrust violations and violations for denial of constitutional rights, among other things. (Editing by Mary Milliken, Bernadette Baum, Jonathan Oatis and David Gregorio)

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