SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Donald Sterling hasn’t quite given up the fight, but Adam Silver thinks the time is coming.
“While I understand his frustration, I think it’s over,” Silver said Sunday.
The NBA commissioner said Sterling still hasn’t signed off on the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers, or agreed to drop his lawsuit against Silver or the NBA. But Silver believes he ultimately will, because Shelly Sterling’s agreement with the league covers the NBA’s legal responsibilities in case of a suit.
“So in essence, Donald is suing himself and he knows that,” Silver said.
Silver also said before Game 2 of the NBA Finals that there is “absolutely no possibility” of rescinding the lifetime ban or $2.5 million fine he handed down to Sterling following his racist remarks.
Silver said he spoke with Sterling shortly after delivering his punishments and found him to be “distraught” but “not remorseful at that time.”
Sterling’s attorneys had eventually indicated to the league that he would drop his fight and work with his estranged wife to finish off the record $2 billion sale to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Sterling may be changing his mind now, but Silver doesn’t seem concerned.
“I think it’s just a matter of time now, and then we will move on to better topics and back to the finals,” Silver said.
Silver has been widely praised for his response to Sterling’s remarks, though said Sunday in hindsight he wishes perhaps the NBA could have done more sooner after previous allegations of racist behavior by Sterling.
However, something is being done now.
“I take very seriously the fact that he has a pending lawsuit against the league. So I want to make sure that’s resolved before we say this is behind us, but I have absolute confidence it will be,” Silver said.