A new private recording of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling defending himself was released this week as the NBA moved one step closer to settling the team's management, which has been unresolved since the league banned Sterling for a racist rant.
On Friday, the Clippers again faced headlines about off-court activities when a new recording of Sterling was released and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced an interim chief executive officer for the team.
On court the team is facing problems as they battle the Oklahoma City Thunder in the second round of the NBA playoffs. The Clippers trail the Thunder two games to one in the best of seven series.
With the Clippers still alive in the NBA playoffs -- even as their ownership remains in flux -- we've run down the most important facts you need to know.
Another Recording of Donald Sterling Comes Out
Two weeks after an audio recording of Sterling making incendiary racial statements led to his ban from the NBA and a $2.5 million fine, another recording has been released of the embattled Clippers owner.
Released by Radar Online on Friday, a voice reported to be Sterling says that the reason he made the earlier racial statements was to win over V. Stiviano, Sterling's reported personal assistant heard in the original recording.
"If you trying to have sex with a girl and you're talking to her privately, you may say anything in the world, what difference does it make?" Sterling said in the recording.
Sterling later said the reason he told Stiviano not to bring black people to his games was that he was "jealous."
"I know what I said was wrong, but I never thought the private conversation would go anywhere out to the public," he said. "I didn't want her to bring anyone to the games because I was jealous."
A New Boss, For Now
The same day the new Sterling recording was released, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced that former Citigroup chairman and the current Time Warner chairman and CEO Richard Parsons will become the interim CEO, as the Clippers' ownership is in flux.
"I believe the hiring of Dick Parsons will bring extraordinary leadership and immediate stability to the Clippers organization," Silver said. "Dick's credentials as a proven chief executive speak for themselves and I am extremely grateful he accepted this responsibility."
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Now that Parsons has been appointed he will take over the basic daily operations for team and oversee the team's president, who has been in charge of the team since Sterling's ban. In a statement, Parsons said he was "honored" to be working with the team.
"Like most Americans, I have been deeply troubled by the pain the Clippers' team, fans and partners have endured," Parsons said in a statement. "The Clippers are a resilient organization with a brilliant coach and equally talented and dedicated athletes and staff who have demonstrated great strength of character during a time of adversity."
Donald Sterling's estranged wife Rochelle Sterling, also the team's co-owner, said she supported Parsons being named as the interim CEO.
"Mr. Parsons has impressive management credentials in the important fields of the media, finance and professional sports," Sterling said. "He is an ideal choice to run the franchise until the ownership issues are clarified."
A New Owner?
The biggest question for the Clippers remains, who will end up owning the team?
Since Sterling's ban, several celebrities have said they would be willing to buy the team from Sterling. While big names such as Oprah Winfrey and Magic Johnson expressed interest in acquiring the Clippers, for now Sterling remains the team owner, even though he is banned from attending a game.
It will take two-thirds of a vote of NBA owners to force Sterling to sell his team. Sacramento Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive told "Good Moring America" earlier this month that he believes the vote to oust Sterling will be unanimous.
"The owners I know are all color blind and they found that this behavior was outrageous, so I wouldn't be surprised if it isn't a unanimous vote," Ranadive said." "I would be very surprised if that was not the case."
Complicating the case is Sterling's wife, who co-owns the team and confirmed Wednesday that she intends to retain co-ownership of the team, which is owned by a family trust. According to ESPN, Rochelle Sterling has been co-owner since 1981 and is one of two alternate governors. The other is team president Andy Roeser.
Roeser started an indefinite leave of absence on Tuesday.
In a statement given to ESPN, Shelly Sterling said the sanctions applied to her husband only.
"Commissioner Silver made it clear, that when he announced sanctions against Donald, that the NBA was taking no action against me or my family," Sterling told ESPN.
Sterling's attorney, Pierce O'Donnell, said her legal counsel will fight to "defend her property rights" and that Sterling, "will not agree to a forced or involuntary seizure of her interest."
Who Is V. Stiviano?
The woman at the center of the controversy continues to grab headlines.
This week it was announced the woman, heard on the initial tape and reported to be Sterling's personal assistant, was trying to adopt two pre-teen boys from the Los Angeles County of Family services, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Stiviano was put into the spotlight after Sterling's racist rant was released spoke to ABC News' Barbara Walters about her relationship with Sterling.
In the interview with Walters, Stiviano said she was Sterling's personal assistant and "right hand arm man," and that she loves him as a "father figure."
While Stiviano, 31, was heard on the tape talking to Sterling during his infamous tirade, she denies leaking the recording.
See V. Stiviano's Interview with Barbara WaltersWhat Does Donald Sterling Have to say?
Sterling has refused to speak directly to press for the past two weeks, except for a single statement given to the lifestyle magazine DuJour.
Sterling was quoted as saying: "I wish I had just paid her off," in reference to V. Stiviano.
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Both Sterling and Stiviano were supposed to sit down with ABC News' Barbara Walters on May 2, but only Stiviano appeared for the interview. She said she did not believe that Sterling was a racist.
Can Sterling Do Anything to Keep His Team?
Even a unanimous vote to oust Sterling may not mean the drama is over, according to experts.
Jason Maloni, chair of litigation practice, sports, and entertainment for Levick, a public relations firm, said Sterling could challenge Silver's interpretation of NBA rules.
"It's certainly far from over," Maloni said. "Sterling is a very litigious individual [and he] could seek to challenge the ruling [since] Adam Silver is interpreting the constitution of the NBA."
Sterling doesn't have to sue immediately to retain his team, he could wait until next season, Maloni said.
"If Sterling intends to sue at the very last minute on the cusp of next season, [we] will be back when we're focusing on the start of basketball [and] he might have a case," Maloni said.
However, Maloni said Sterling stands to make an incredible profit from the sale. The team was originally bought in 1981 for $12 million and is now valued at around $1 billion.
What's Next for the Los Angeles Clippers
Although there has been plenty of off-court drama, the team has faced difficulties on-court as well. After squeaking out a win against the Golden State Warriors in game seven of the first round of NBA playoffs, the Clippers fell behind in the second round series against the Oklahoma Thunder.
The two teams were scheduled to face off again tonight for game four of the series. The Thunder is currently leading the series 2-1.
What We Know About V. Stiviano, Woman Accused of Leaking Racist RantThe Associated Press contributed to this report.
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