A news conference by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on the Donald Sterling controversy is underway. Punishments for the Clippers owner include a lifetime ban and a $2.5-million fine. Silver also said he would urge NBA owners and the board of governors to force Sterling to sell the team.The lifetime ban makes sense. I think the $2.5M fine is sorta pointless, especially since a good chunk of it is prolly just gonna up at at Rainbow PUSH/National Action Network when it's donated. But the NBA's upcoming vote to force Sterling to sell is probably the biggest deal here.
"I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers organization or the NBA," said Silver.
Most were expecting a large fine and suspension to be handed to Sterling after he allegedly made controversial remarks about blacks that created widespread outrage.
The NBA's bylaws allow for owners to be expelled from the league, though that power is reserved for limited circumstances, such as the inability to operate financially, gambling on league games or fixing games.
The more likely route, which Silver undertook, lay within Article 35 of the NBA Constitution, which allows the commissioner to indefinitely suspend owners for "conduct prejudicial or detrimental to the association."
All of this has happened with the team preparing for Tuesday night's Game 5 of its best-of-seven playoff series against Golden State; the series is tied, 2-2.
Sterling's no dummy. Racist, sure, but not a dummy. He'll inevitably lawyer up when/if the other 29 owners vote to "force" him to sell. Legal issues like this don't resolve themselves overnight. This will end up in the courts, and it will probably take years to resolve itself. Look no further than the inter-party legal actions that held up the sale of the Atlanta Hawks a few years back for proof.
I suppose this does raise a quandary for the Clippers players now. Do they want to play the next x number of years for a team that's still technically owned by Donald Sterling, suspension and all? That's the real question here.
I suspect, much like the forced sale, it'll be awhile before we know the answer.
Question: Did the NBA do the right thing? How is this gonna end?