Arriving about an hour before the start of her team's third game in the Western Conference semifinals, Clippers co-owner Shelly Sterling stepped out of the black Mercedes sport utility vehicle she was driving and was quickly surrounded by a five-man security detail in a loading dock area inside Staples Center.
Asked if she had a minute to speak with The Times on Friday evening, Sterling said, "No, sorry," and kept walking without breaking stride.
Wearing all black with sparkling stones on the shoulder of her jacket, Sterling did not respond when asked why it was important for her to attend the game at a time when her presence might be seen as a distraction to the team. She ascended a ramp and entered a service elevator, accompanied by the security guards.
Sterling has asserted that she will fight to keep control of the Clippers at a time when her husband, Donald Sterling, is facing a vote by fellow NBA owners to oust him from the league after he was heard make derogatory comments about blacks in an audio recording.
Shelly Sterling has attended all five of the Clippers' home playoff games this season but has not sat courtside since the first two games of their first-round series against Golden State. The recording of her husband was released before a subsequent home game, at which she opted to sit in a suite.