National Basketball Association Commissioner Larry O'Brien said today that he has received written notice from the San Diego Clippers requesting the team be allowed to move to Los Angeles next season.
Donald Sterling, owner of the Clippers, reached an agreement with the Coliseum Commission Monday to move his team to the Los Angeles Sports Arena. Sterling cited poor attendance and a $3 million loss this season as primary reasons for the move.
"In accordance with league procedures, the Clippers' request will be placed on the board of governors' agenda for its June 22 meeting and forwarded to the NBA advisory and finance committee," O'Brien said in a prepared statement. O'Brien added that he informed Sterling that he must submit all information the advisory and finance committee requests concerning the financial stability of the club, its projected financial operations at the Sports Arena, the impact of the loss of a team in San Diego and all details concerning the club's existing arena lease in San Diego.
O'Brien said that the advisory finance committee then will make a recommendation to the board of governors. The NBA constitution requires a three-fourths vote of the board of governors (owners) for approval of a franchise relocation.
Sources here said a potential major stumbling block--indemnification to the Lakers for invading their territorial rights--already has been worked out between Laker owner Jerry Buss and Sterling, a longtime acquaintance. Buss said last week that $5 million would "probably take care of it."