[Donald] Sterling met with his potential successor as Clippers owner on Monday afternoon. From Ramona Shelburne for ESPN.com:

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling met with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on Monday afternoon in Los Angeles to discuss the pending $2 billion sale of the franchise, sources with knowledge of the situation told ESPN.

While no settlement was reached, sources said the two men had a "friendly conversation" for about 90 minutes at Sterling's house in Beverly Hills in their first face-to-face meeting since Ballmer negotiated the record-setting sale with Shelly Sterling on May 29.

The original agreement called for the sale to close by July 15, with a possible extension to Aug. 15. The NBA has the option of resuming termination proceedings and subsequently selling the team itself if the sale is still in limbo by Sept. 15.

The meeting was arranged Sunday night following a three-hour meeting earlier in the day between Donald and Shelly Sterling, sources said. Donald Sterling had been preparing to file a new suit in state court on Monday morning before he and his wife spoke at length Sunday night at Donald's house. He then asked to meet with Ballmer after the meeting with Shelly and a meeting with his attorney, sources said.

We should not jump to conclusions — this meeting ensures no speedy resolution to the situation and could even lead to further disagreements. When the Sterlings are involved, there is little sense in projecting a result from one news story. If we've learned one thing about this situation, it's that it could change at any moment.

Nevertheless, it would have been difficult two weeks ago to imagine Sterling acknowledging Ballmer at all. Even if just for a short period in time, he seems to have entertained the possibility that the team might be sold. That's progress towards the ending everyone but Sterling seems to want, although things could regress very soon.

Or, who knows, maybe Sterling just wants to sell Ballmer $500 million worth of Los Angeles real estate. The guy sure does seem to have plenty of cash to spare.

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