The NBA made sure that Shelly Sterling, the wife of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, knew the chances of her keeping her stake in the team are pretty much slim to none.
In her first interview since the NBA banned Donald Sterling, Shelly Sterling says she will fight to keep her share of the team and plans one day to divorce her husband.
But, that fight might not happen.
"Under the NBA Constitution, if a controlling owner's interest is terminated by a 3/4 vote, all other team owners' interests are automatically terminated as well," according to a statement from NBA spokesman Mike Bass. "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."
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If there was any doubt this situation will become testy, Shelly Sterling's lawyer put those to rest shortly after the NBA issued its statement.
"We do not agree with the league's self-serving interpretation of its constitution, its application to Shelly Sterling or its validity under these unique circumstances," her lawyer Pierce O'Donnell said in a statement. "We live in a nation of laws. California law and the United States Constitution trump any such interpretation."
Shelly Sterling spoke to Barbara Walters, and ABC News posted a short story with excerpts from the conversation Sunday.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has banned Donald Sterling for making racist comments and urged owners to force Sterling to sell the team. Silver added that no decisions had been made about the rest of Sterling's family.
"I will fight that decision," Shelly Sterling said in the interview. "To be honest with you, I'm wondering if a wife of one of the owners, and there's 30 owners, did something like that, said those racial slurs, would they oust the husband? Or would they leave the husband in?
"I don't know why I should be punished for what his actions were."
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O'Donnell has said Shelly Sterling will fight to retain her 50 percent ownership stake in the team.
Sterling also said that she "eventually" will divorce her husband, and that she hadn't yet done so due to financial considerations.
"For the last 20 years, I've been seeing attorneys for a divorce," she said. "In fact, I have here - I just filed - I was going to file the petition. I signed the petition for a divorce. And it came to almost being filed. And then, my financial adviser and my attorney said to me, 'Not now.'"
Contributing: Associated Press.