NBA: Wife can't keep team if Sterling ousted

NEW YORK (AP) — The NBA says if Donald Sterling's ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers is terminated, so is Shelly Sterling's.

Hours after Shelly Sterling said she would fight to keep her ownership of the franchise even if her estranged husband can't, the league said that wouldn't be possible.

League spokesman Mike Bass says that according to the NBA constitution, "if a controlling owner's interest is terminated by a three-fourths vote, all other team owners' interests are automatically terminated as well."

"It doesn't matter whether the owners are related as is the case here," Bass adds in a statement. "These are the rules to which all NBA owners agreed to as a condition of owning their team."

Donald Sterling has been banned for life for making racist comments and Commissioner Adam Silver is urging owners to force him out. But Shelly Sterling told ABC News' Barbara Walters on Sunday that she felt her stake in the team should be separate and that she "would love him to" consider transferring fell ownership to her if he is forced to sell.

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.