Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is battling prostate cancer, according to a Thursday report by the New York Post's Linda Massarella, Emily Smith, Bruce Golding and Helen Kumari.
A source informed the publication of the news on Sterling, 80, and another source gave testimony that suggests he has been battling for his life for a number of years.
"They thought he would die two years ago," a source told the reporters. "People have been predicting his imminent demise. I’m sure he has the best...drugs money can buy. ...He can do anything to keep himself alive."
ESPNLosAngeles.com also has several sources confirming the news:
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has cancer http://t.co/8bTHYZbBwP— ESPNLosAngeles (@ESPNLosAngeles) May 2, 2014
Sterling has been banned from the NBA for life by league commissioner Adam Silver and assessed $2.5 million, the maximum fine allowed under the Association's Constitution.
The harsh punishment stemmed from racist remarks Sterling made that were recently released to the public. Earlier on Thursday, the NBA Advisory Committee met to move forward with the process of forcing Sterling to sell his team, per The Orange County Register's Dan Woike:
Statement from NBA on today's owner meeting pic.twitter.com/6g9c5DGZ7S— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) May 1, 2014
Tim Cowlishaw of The Dallas Morning News put the NBA's actions into further context:
Make no mistake about it. The NBA’s decision to ban Sterling for life and to fine him the maximum $2.5 million permitted wasn’t because he’s a racist. It’s because his private expressions of indefensible racism went viral and embarrassed the league.
Also included in the New York Post report is a claim by another source that Sterling is, "calling everyone, saying: 'Tell me I'm not a racist.'" The source suggests Sterling may be recording the conversation in an effort to exonerate himself in that way.
Forgiveness is not something many are likely to grant Sterling, and in all likelihood, he will not have any association with pro basketball moving forward. Nonetheless, this development of Sterling battling cancer is likely to stir mixed sentiment.