This Donald Sterling/Los Angeles Clippers thing is turning into a really shitty thriller movie.
Just when we thought Adam Silver had swooped in and taken out public enemy #1, it's revealed that there's another person already filling that void and they're getting away (usually in a pretty cool car).
That person is Shelly Sterling, Donald's officially-reported-to-be-soon-to-be-ex wife. And she's on a mission.
As Deadspin reports: "She doesn't intend to give up her share of the team, doesn't believe the NBA has the power to remove her, and would like her husband to transfer his stake to her, making her the sole owner."
Now the last time most of us heard from Shelly pre-The Decision (yes, we're taking this title away from LeBron), she was sitting courtside in all black, releasing statements condemning her husband's actions and going on the record saying, "I am not a racist" -- while also claiming she was unsure if it was her husbands voice on the tape or not...
But now she's on a rampage.
It doesn't matter that NBA spokesman Mike Bass released this statement:
“Under the NBA constitution, if a controlling owner’s interest is terminated by a three-quarter vote, all other team owners’ interests are automatically terminated as well...It doesn’t matter whether the owners are related as is the case here. These are the rules to which all NBA owners agreed to as a condition of owning their team.”
"We're ready to go to war if we have to," said Shelly Sterling's lawyer Pierce O'Donnell.
That's bad news for the Adam Silver and the NBA as whole.
O'Donnell was asked if they would depose other owners and their team personnels and he replied by saying:
"Any fair administrative process would allow us to get discovery. And I want to know a lot of different things about the records of the N.B.A. and what information they have about the conduct or misconduct of other owners that was not acted upon...it's in everybody's best interests to avoid Armageddon."
And the NBA doesn't want it being brought into a very public light that, as Barry Petchesky put it, "the Nets' owner was arrested in connection with a prostitution ring and has faced multiple corruption allegations, or that the Cavs' owner was a major player in the subprime mortgage scandal, or that the Magic's owner is a bigot who got rich off a pyramid scheme."
But it looks like Shelly, whom the Clippers players have already gone on record saying they wouldn't play for, is going to throw her full arsenal at the situation, including...
A WELL-COMPENSATED PR TEAM!
Shelly Sterling has already spoken with Barbara Walters, the New York Times, and Today.
That's a pretty damn good lineup, and she hasn't even begun to touch the B and C-level shows that will help keep her name in the news cycle for much longer than it should be. Also, if she does happen to get anything really juicy on another owner/team personell, you can be sure that she will kicking that team into high gear over it.
Plus without this foundational tool, everything else is a moot point.
THE SYMPATHY CARD!
This was the inevitable next step after she immediately distanced herself from Donald. Not only was she not involved, she's on your side too! Just another victim of that evil racist Donald Sterling.
The image that adorns her New York Times story goes for a tired, sympathy-worthy look (though it borders a little too much on "witch from True Blood"), and she concocted this little narrative when speaking to Today's Savannah Guthrie:
"I'm very angry. And I'm very hurt. And I even cried listening to that, because I just feel bad...And then I feel bad. Why am I the victim when he's the perpetrator? If somebody killed somebody, does the wife have to stand trial too?"
Brilliant right? Plus she can now spin that narrative into...
“Would an owner’s wife [who] would say the same thing … would the owner be asked to leave the NBA? Or would they say, ‘Well, she’s only the wife.’”
See? It's that easy.
And then there's her infinite, Unsullied army of...
We all know money buys power, but we forget where that power stems from: owning tons of stuff and being able to put enough lawyers in between you and whatever problem comes your way.
Even Donald, in his confirmation that Shelly and he were getting a divorce, said as much:
‘The poor girl; I don't know how she can live and deal with this. Thank God she has wonderful attorneys - wonderful - and they will protect her."
So get ready for a lot more Shelly Sterling in your life.
You know, the one who was accused of "regularly [posing] as a government official in order to gain access to tenants' apartments" and who allegedly, according to a property supervisor's testimony, wanted to evict tenants from "certain ethnic groups" because they "didn't fit the image."
A thing to remember when taking on the bad guys (and gals): there's always another one.