Donald Sterling told Jim Gray of Fox News that he has no intention of selling the Clippers, as Gray reported shortly before Adam Silver delivered the news that the Clippers owner is banned for life from the NBA (video link). It doesn’t appear as though the decision will be in his hands, however, as Silver interprets the NBA’s constitution to hold that a three-fourths majority of owners can strip the team from Sterling. Owners across the league have begun issuing statements in support of Silver, and one member of the Board of Governors tells Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports that Silver has the votes necessary for the ouster (Twitter link). Here’s more reaction to the commissioner’s decision:
- NBPA president Chris Paul had this to say before tonight’s playoff game: “In response to today’s ruling by the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver, my teammates and I are in agreement with his decision…We appreciate the strong leadership from Commissioner Silver and he has our full support” (Twitter links via ESPN LA’s Arash Markazi).
- According to the NBA constitution, Sterling has 30 days to pay his $2.5MM fine, tweets Ken Berger of CBS Sports. If Sterling fails to comply, that in itself will be grounds for his dismissal by the Board of Governors.
- Getting the votes necessary to take the team away from Sterling isn’t the issue, as Glen Taylor, chairman of the Board of Governors, tells Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune (Twitter link). The legal fallout from such an action is the greater concern, Taylor says, adding that he’ll vote to oust Sterling.
- Clippers president Andy Roeser will handle day-to-day operations for the Clippers in Sterling’s place, reports Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today.
- Any outcome short of Sterling selling the team wouldn’t have been enough for the league’s players, Mason said, as Mullen tweets. That suggests there will be extra pressure on the league’s owners to strip the team from Sterling, though it appears as though the owners will indeed vote Sterling out.
- Sources tell Grantland’s Zach Lowe that Silver and the league, and not Sterling, would control the sale of the Clippers if the owners vote to take the team away from Sterling (Twitter link).
- One Clippers player tells Chris Broussard of ESPN.com that everyone on the team is pleased with Silver’s punishment (via Twitter). The Clippers released a statement saying that they “wholeheartedly support and embrace” Silver’s decision, as Ken Berger of CBSSports.com passes along (on Twitter). While that statement seems to have come out without Sterling’s involvement, it’s unclear who’s running the Clippers for now, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com (Twitter link).
- Sterling can’t attend any games or practices, show up at any Clippers office or facility, or take part in any business involving the team or the league in accordance with his lifetime ban, according to The Associated Press.
- Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson, speaking on behalf of the player’s union, expressed satisfaction with the commissioner’s ruling, notes Liz Mullen of Sports Business Journal (Twitter link).
- Players were ready to boycott games if Silver didn’t act as they wanted him to, union vice president Roger Mason said, as Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports tweets. Mason added that the players want owners to swiftly vote on Sterling’s ouster, according to Arash Markazi of ESPNLosAngeles.com (on Twitter).