Playoffs good for Clips' bottom line

Updated: May 17, 2014, 10:29 AM ET
By Darren Rovell | ESPN.com

As the NBA worked to oust Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, the team pulled in an estimated $10.5 million from its postseason run, sources tell ESPN.com.

Thanks to a seven-game series against the Golden State Warriors and a six-game series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Clippers played seven playoff games at the Staples Center.

Sources with knowledge of the revenue-sharing deal with the league, which equally splits the home ticket revenue between the team and the NBA, and of the Clippers' arrangement with the Staples Center, which is owned by AEG, say the Clippers net approximately $1 million per home playoff game in ticket sales. They also net $500,000 in ancillary revenue, including concessions and merchandise.

[+] EnlargeLos Angeles Clippers
Kirby Lee/USA TODAY SportsThe Clippers' run through two rounds of the playoffs netted the team an estimated $10.5 million.

It is not known how much money the team lost from sponsors pulling their advertising, but league insiders note that most of the money for this season was already paid.

The income from the playoffs represents more than four times the $2.5 million maximum fine the league imposed on Sterling last month for his racist remarks.

In a letter sent by Sterling's lawyer to the NBA on Thursday, Sterling has objected to paying the fine -- which was due this week -- and has threatened to sue the league after it banned him for life.

To formally remove Sterling -- and the entire Clippers ownership group -- the league needs 75 percent of the league's other owners to vote to make the move.

The NBA might not only have a lawsuit from Sterling on its hands but also one from his wife, Shelly Sterling, who maintains she has done nothing wrong and desires to keep her share of the team.

The league has appointed former Time Warner CEO Dick Parsons to run day-to-day operations.

ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne contributed to this story.

Darren Rovell | email

ESPN.com Sports Business reporter

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