Shelly Sterling will take legal action against the NBA if she doesn't have control over her interest in the event of a forced sale of the team. But her lawyer says she is adamant ... the NBA has no right to strip her of her 50% ownership, because "she's an innocent victim."
Sources connected with the Sterling family tell us ... Shelly is actually more involved in the team than Donald Sterling, and she would definitely wants to remain an owner, even if Donald is forced out.
Shelly's lawyer, Pierce O'Donnell, tells TMZ Sports, he is currently in talks with the NBA in an effort to avoid a family sale. O'Donnell is demanding that the NBA allow her to retain her 50% interest. O'Donnell has explained to NBA honchos, Shelly and Donald have led separate lives for years, living miles away from each other, and they do not share the same views.
O'Donnell says, "She's done nothing wrong. She's an innocent spouse," adding, "Shelly loves the team and she will resist any effort to strip her involuntarily of her ownership interest."
And, even if a court orders an involuntary sale of the team, Shelly will demand that she have the power to control the sale. She fears if the sale gets hung up for years in litigation, it would grossly devalue the team.