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NBA Commissioner Adam Silver didn’t pull any punches during Tuesday’s press conference addressing Donald Sterling’s racist comments.
Having confirmed that the man on the recording was indeed the Clippers owner, Silver handed out the harshest punishment possible, giving Sterling a lifetime ban from the NBA, fining him the maximum $2.5 million, and requesting that the NBA Board of Governors force the sale of the team.
Sterling had yet to respond as of the time of publication, and it is unknown to what degree (if any) he will fight the NBA’s decision.
It was a strong statement by Silver in his first major decision as David Stern’s successor (Stern would be proud, I imagine). The lifetime ban essentially precludes Sterling from being involved at all with his own franchise and the league as a whole, barring him from games, practices, NBA facilities (including the Clippers’), as well as from making any business or personnel decisions.
The decision is even more impactful considering the Los Angeles Clippers have a home playoff game tonight against the Golden State Warriors, with that series tied 2-2. It will be interesting to see how the Clippers respond with their play on the court and whether fans end up attending Game 5 in light of Silver’s decision.
What do you think of the decision by Silver and the NBA?