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Clippers owner Donald Sterling banned for life fro
<span style="font-weight: bold"><span style="font-size: 17pt">Clippers owner Donald Sterling banned for life from NBA, fined $2.5 million by NBA</span></span>
April 29, 2014
The NBA threw the book at LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, banning him for life, fining him $2.5 million and raising the possibility of a forced sale of the team over racist remarks he made to an ex-girlfriend that surfaced on a tape recording.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver made the announcement at a New York press conference moments after Sterling told Fox News that he was not interested in selling the team. When reached after the press conference by Fox News' Jim Gray, Sterling declined to comment.
Silver, who succeeded David Stern as NBA commissioner in February, said the league interviewed Sterling during its investigation. He said NBA investigators determined that the voice heard on the audio tape obtained by TMZ was Sterling's and called the comments "deeply offensive" and vowed to “do everything in my power” to force a sale of the team, which could be worth more than $500 million.
<span style="font-style: italic"><span style="font-weight: bold"> "Former and current NBA players are very happy and satisfied with Commissioner Silver's ruling"
- Earvin "Magic" Johnson tweeted</span></span>
The hateful opinions voiced by that man are those of Mr. Sterling. The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful. That they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage and my personal outrage,” Silver said. “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.”
Silver said a forensic expert confirmed tape made by Sterling’s mistress, V. Stiviano, was not altered. In the tape, which was released by TMZ on Saturday, Sterling is heard telling Stiviano, who is of African-American and Mexican descent, not to associate publicly with “black people,” especially at Clippers games. The tape was released shortly after she posted a picture of herself with Lakers Hall of Famer Magic Johnson on Instagram.
Silver told the room full of reporters that he is banning Sterling for life from any association with the team or the NBA. The ban, he said, includes attending games and team practices. He said the $2.5 million fine was the harshest under NBA rules. Silver said Sterling's representatives found out about the ruling just before the press conference and stressed that the ban is independent of the effort to compel Sterling to sell the team.
"Former and current NBA players are very happy and satisfied with Commissioner Silver's ruling," Johnson tweeted after Silver's announcement.
Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, tweeted, "I agree 100% with Commissioner Silvers findings and the actions taken against Donald Sterling."
Silver's press conference was held hours before the Clippers were to take the court for Game 5 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series against the Golden State Warriors. The best-of-7 series is tied at two games apiece.
The Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs have worn black socks in their games as a show of support, while the Miami Heat mimicked the Clippers warm-up statement in their playoff game against Charlotte on Monday night.
"Like I've said before, there's no room in this game for an owner like that," Heat star LeBron James said. "For us, as basketball players, we're all brothers. We're competing against each other and all of us want to win, but in the end, we all have to stick together."
Kobe Bryant and TNT analyst Kenny Smith are among the many to join James in calling for Sterling's ouster and Jordan took a rare public stance on a high-profile issue when he said he was "disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views."
"We're more than basketball players," Wizards guard Garrett Temple said. "We're human beings, first and foremost, and when you hear something like that, it's very unfortunate that whoever that is talking feels that way, and I don't think there's any place in this game or in the world, for that matter, for thoughts like that."