The agreement means the Sterling trust that controls the team would pay for any legal judgment or settlement that Donald Sterling obtained.
"In essence, Donald is suing himself and he knows that," Silver told reporters on Sunday before Game 2 of the
Donald Sterling has vacillated in his stance on the proposed $2-billion sale of the team, which he presided over for three decades, to former
Silver said there was "absolutely no possibility" the punishment would be withdrawn.
The commissioner reiterated Shelly Sterling's position that she does not need her husband's approval to sell the Clippers because she became sole trustee of the trust that controls the team when medical experts found Donald Sterling mentally unfit.
Nevertheless, Silver said, Shelly Sterling's attorneys have notified the league that the couple planned to work out their remaining dispute.
Silver said Ballmer needed to undergo additional vetting as part of his bid to buy the Clippers, including an interview with the NBA's advisory finance committee. If everything checks out, league owners could vote to approve Ballmer at a scheduled board of governors meeting next month, if not sooner.
Ballmer has told the league he intends to close the deal as full owner before possibly bringing in partners.
Shelly Sterling remains free to attend Clippers games, Silver said, but will have no other future role with the team. A proposed foundation created by Shelly Sterling would not directly involve the Clippers other than to include money used from the sale of the team.
Silver said he has spoken with Donald Sterling once since the commissioner issued the lifetime ban.
"I certainly learned nothing new from that conversation with him," said Silver, who has been sued individually by Donald Sterling in addition to the lawsuit Sterling filed against the league. "He was distraught … but he was not remorseful at that time."
Though Silver spent most of his news conference discussing the Clippers sale and the air-conditioning malfunction that led to sweltering temperatures for Game 1 between the