New NBA commissioner Adam Silver took swift and very powerful actions on LA Clipper owner Donald Sterling over his racists comments. Silver lowered the boom and banned him for life from the NBA, fined him 2.5 million dollars, which is the maximum allowed under NBA rules and is urging the Board of Governors to make him sell the team. No matter what the owners decide, Sterling's lifetime ban will stick.
Silver: I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers association or the NBA. Mr. Sterling may not attend any NBA games or practices, he may not be present at any Clippers facility, and he may not participate in any business or decisions involving the team.
This is an excellent decision and I support it fully. There was talk that he would just suspend him and then make a determination later, but the powerful statements by so many of the former and current NBA greats forced his hand and he did the right thing.
Magic Johnson says former and current players are very happy with the ruling.
Former and current NBA players are very happy and satisfied with Commissioner Silver's ruling.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 29, 2014
I doubt the NBA owners will make Sterling sell the team because they will worry that a precedent will be set and if they do something foolish they would meet the same fate, but if enough pressure comes upon them it's possible they would buckle.
Mark Cuban already slammed Sterling earlier today, but wasn't on board with forcing a team sale.
Several owners expressed deep concern over Sterling's comments while Mark Cuban, owner of the Mavericks, also raised the issue of the potential precedent that could be set by forcing Sterling to leave the league.
"I think there's a constitution for a reason, right? Because this is a very slippery slope," Cuban said before Game 4 of the Mavericks-San Antonio Spurs series. "What Donald said was wrong. It was abhorrent. There's no place for racism in the NBA, any business I'm associated with, and I don't want to be associated with people who have that position.
"But at the same time, that's a decision I make. I think you've got to be very, very careful when you start making blanket statements about what people say and think, as opposed to what they do. It's a very, very slippery slope.