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NBA roundup: Sterling, NBA reach settlement

The SportsXchange

The NBA announced Friday night that Shelly Sterling and the Sterling Family Trust settled their ownership dispute of the Los Angeles Clippers and agreed to sell the team to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

The NBA said in a release that the league will "withdraw its pending charge to terminate the Sterlings' ownership of the team" and cancel a hearing on the issue scheduled for June 3 in New York.

"Mrs. Sterling and the Trust also agreed not to sue the NBA and to indemnify the NBA against lawsuits from others, including from Donald Sterling," the league said in its statement.

The sale is pending approval by the NBA Board of Governors.

Earlier, it was reported that Donald Sterling was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's symptoms, leading him to be declared too "mentally incapacitated" to control the team.

That apparently didn't stop Sterling from attempting to file a $1 billion antitrust suit against the NBA on Friday for damages, according to a report by Yahoo! Sports that was confirmed by Sterling's attorney, Max Blecker.

Sterling is officially the team's former owner even before the $2 billion sale to Ballmer gets final approval from the NBA.

Sterling was determined to be mentally unfit to make decisions related to the family trust.

According to USA Today, the Sterling Family Trust owns the team and based on provisions and protocol related to mental capacity, Shelly Sterling became the sole power-wielding decision-maker recently. Experts determined Donald Sterling was not capable of making those decisions due to his mental state.

Blecher, however, vehemently denied reports that his client is in a poor mental state, telling ESPN that Sterling is "far from mentally incompetent."

Shelly Sterling opened bidding with a deadline this week and reached agreement with Ballmer, the former Microsoft CEO, on Thursday. Ballmer was the highest bigger by "several hundred million" dollars according to reports and the deal that would be worth $2 billion -- nearly four times the NBA franchise record sale of $550 million for the Milwaukee Bucks earlier this year -- went directly to the NBA Board of Governors.

---New York Knicks president Phil Jackson said during a meeting with reporters that Steve Kerr verbally committed to taking the team's coaching job a day before accepting the Golden State Warriors' offer.

Jackson acknowledged that Kerr, a San Diego resident, wanted to stay in California and that the Warriors have a better roster to work with than the Knicks do.

According to Jackson, the two were so deep into negotiations that he even told star forward Carmelo Anthony that Kerr would coach the team, confirming reports that surfaced at the time.

Jackson also told reporters that he has asked Anthony to reconsider his plan to become a free agent this offseason

Opting in would give Anthony the option of going somewhere else in 2015 if Jackson's Knicks fail to attract a co-star for him.

---The Cleveland Cavaliers are spending their second day interviewing Los Angeles Clippers assistant Alvin Gentry for their head coaching vacancy, the Associated Press reported.

Gentry, 59, is the third known candidate to interview for the job. The Cavaliers also met with Chicago Bulls assistant Adrian Griffin on Tuesday and Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue on Thursday.

The Cavaliers also plan to meet with a fourth candidate, former Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins, on Saturday.

---Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson said after Friday's shootaround that team president Larry Bird told him to cut out his antics that have drawn much attention during the playoffs.

Stephenson has made more news for his trash talking and flopping than his actual play.

Bird met with Stephenson and sent him a clear message.

"He said, 'Don't do it again,' so I'm not going to do it again," Stephenson said. "He's kept me on the right path my whole career, and if he says something to me, I take it to heart."

The Pacers are in Miami for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals on Friday night. Miami leads the best-of-seven series 3-2.

---Brendan Malone, Bob Beyer and Charles Klask were named assistant coaches of the Detroit Pistons, head coach and president of basketball operations Stan Van Gundy announced.

Malone returns to Detroit, where he served as an assistant coach to late Pistons coach Chuck Daly from 1988-92, which included back-to-back NBA titles in 1989 and 1990.
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