"Disgraced racist Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is battling cancer -- surprising those around him by beating the final buzzer for as long as he has, sources told the Post on Thursday.
"'They thought he would die two years ago,' one source said of Sterling, who on Tuesday was banned for life from the NBA for his now-infamous recorded racist rant.
"'People have been predicting his imminent demise. I'm sure he has the best...drugs money can buy,' said the source, who works closely with pro sports teams. 'He can do anything to keep himself alive.'
"The source said some of the medication Sterling has been taking is responsible for the puffy appearance of his face.
"Another source said Sterling, 80, was specifically suffering from prostate cancer.
"In an ironic twist, Sterilng refused to pay for prostate cancer surgery a decade ago for then-Clippers assistant coach Kim Hughes."
Instead, four Clippers players volunteered to pay for Hughes' medical bill which reached $70,000, per The New York Post.
The same update states Sterling has been reaching out to his friends for support via phone.
"'He's calling everyone, saying: 'Tell me I'm not a racist,' a source said, noting that the friends are refusing, for fear that Sterling was recording them.
"Sources said Sterling has also been telling friends that he doesn't understand the public furor over his recorded comments to then-girlfriend V. Stiviano, whom he scolded for publicly 'associating with black people' and told not to bring any black friends 'to my games.'"
ESPN also confirmed the news Sterling has cancer, citing league sources.
"Blake Griffin, speaking after the Clippers' 100-99 Game 6 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night, said he was unaware of Sterling's cancer.
"'If that is true, my thoughts and prayers are with him,' Griffin said. 'Nobody deserves to go through somebody like that.'
"Chris Paul, who said he hadn't heard about the cancer, called it 'truly unfortunate,' while coach Doc Rivers sad he didn't know about it and that he hoped it wasn't true."
NBA commissioner Adam Silver issued a lifetime ban and a $2.5 million fine on Sterling on April 29 for his racist comments, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.
Silver said,"The hateful opinions voiced by that of the man (on the tape) are those of Donald Sterling...I'm personally distraught the views expressed by Mr. Sterling came from within an institution that has historically taken such a leadership role in matters of race relations."
Forbes' Magazine's Maury Brown reports the process of forcing Sterling to sell the Clippers began on May 1 with the NBA advisory/finance committee meeting via conference call.
Brown stresses the league would need to have 75 percent of the NBA Board of Governors' votes in order to strip Sterling of his ownership of the Clippers.
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