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Sterling's wife insists she can sell Clippers

LOS ANGELES -- The wife of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling insisted Thursday that she had the power to sell the NBA club, in feisty testimony a day after he called her a “pig” in court.

Shelly Sterling also said that NBA commissioner Adam Silver told her that he would consider a reduction in the life ban he issued to Donald Sterling if he agreed to sell the team.

Sterling was slapped with that ban, and the NBA is moving to have the team sold, after a recording surfaced of him making racist comments about blacks, triggering an uproar among NBA players and the American public.

The trial is about whether a deal that Shelly Sterling struck to sell the team to former Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer for US$2 billion is legitimate.

Shelly Sterling, who is separated from her husband but not divorced, smiled and exchanged pleasantries with lawyers and the judge but firmly disputed claims by Donald Sterling's lawyer Maxwell Blecher.

At the end of Thursday's testimony, the case was recessed until July 21.

The previous day, Shelly Sterling had left the court visibly upset by her husband's insults, which included telling her to “Get away from me, you pig!”

On the fourth day of the trial, Blecher focused his questions on email exchanges between Shelly Sterling's lawyers and a medical expert who diagnosed her husband with Alzheimer's disease. He tried to show that the expert was conniving with her attorneys.

But Shelly Sterling insisted she knew nothing about the emails, and that her only concern was her husband's health.

Sterling's 'mood swings'

“I wanted to know what was going on with his mood swings, his screaming. There was something wrong,” she said, alluding to her husband's anger at Blecher himself.

“You know how he acted at you in the house,” she told the attorney.

told her several weeks ago he would consider removing the life ban on Donald Sterling.

She quoted Silver as saying, “Maybe we can do a one-year ban and two years probation” but only provided Donald Sterling stayed by her plan to sell the team.

“Adam was afraid he would look like a fool,” Shelly Sterling said.

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