Sources with knowledge of the situation suggest that taking the matter through probate court could delay the sale process if Ballmer or the NBA is unwilling to accept Shelly Sterling's authority to act as the sole trustee and sell the team, or if they feel more comfortable waiting until all legal threats have been extinguished.
Donald Sterling filed a lawsuit against the NBA and Silver seeking $1 billion. However, as a condition of the sale, Shelly Sterling agreed to indemnify the league against those damages. Even if he were to win the lawsuit, the Sterling Family Trust would pay the damages.
Blecher said that "I think [Ballmer] told her that, that he's not going to go through with the sale unless Sterling signs off." However, sources with knowledge of the situation said the tech tycoon simply is waiting for the process to play out and has not made any definitive statements like that.
In a strongly worded statement issued by another of his lawyers, Bobby Samini, Donald Sterling does not mention any of his wife's actions and only takes exception to the NBA's move to terminate his ownership of the Clippers, his lifetime ban from the league and his $2.5 million fine in the wake of racist comments he made to his former assistant V. Stiviano that were published on TMZ on April 25.
In a statement titled "WHY I AM FIGHTING THE NBA? THE NBA WANTS TO TAKE AWAY OUR PRIVACY RIGHTS AND FREEDOM OF SPEECH," Sterling says he has "apologized for my mistakes. My apology is sincere" but "I want every American to know that I will not give up fighting for those rights."
Sterling calls the NBA, and in particular Silver, "incompetent, inexperienced and angry" and says "it is clear that they took this opportunity to settle the personal grievances they have harbored against me for years."
Asked why Sterling specifically mentions him in this latest statement, Silver told Steele, "I have no idea what he's talking about. The focus obviously shouldn't be on me or the NBA. This is about Donald Sterling and his conduct. If he wants to litigate, he'll litigate."
As he did in his initial response to the NBA's charges to terminate his ownership last month, Sterling also questions whether he is being held to a different standard than other owners.
"If the NBA is sincere about their approach, Adam Silver needs to publicly examine the NBA's own conduct and the conduct of each and every Owner," Sterling writes.
"For now, it seems Adam Silver is content with focusing his energy on violating my rights, attempting to take my property, and signing autographs for TMZ. Maybe once the dust settles, he will have some time to focus on the NBA's own transgressions."
That seems to echo Blecher's statement that Sterling has changed his mind about consenting to the sale in part because Silver refused to reconsider his lifetime ban and the $2.5 million fine or accommodate his desire to leave with "some dignity."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.