Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Mitch Chortkoff
Sports Editor 


Clippers Owner Also Fined $2.5 Million


April 28, 2014

Donald Sterling

After NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced Tuesday morning the voice on the racial rant alleged to be Clippers owner Donald Sterling is indeed Sterling the commissioner took action.

Sterling has received a lifetime ban from the NBA and fined $2.5 million. He will not be permitted to attend Clipper games or practices or appear in the team's offices.

Silver also said the league will attempt to convince Sterling to sell the team.

Pressure is on to get a quick vote from the NBA Board of Governors. A 75 per cent yes vote is required to take action, but according to league sources the vote is expected to be nearly 100 percent.

Although Sterling has been barred from Clipper activities the Players' Association won't be satisfied until he has sold the franchise.

This is Silver's first major action since he recently succeeded Commissioner David Stern, who held the job for 30 years.

Silver has earned praise for taking a tough stance against Sterling.

"He's proven to be the right man for the job," said Clipper star Chris Paul, who is president of the NBA Players Association.

The players are also grateful for the work of former NBA star Kevin Johnson, now the mayor of Sacramento, who volunteered to represent the players at this time.

Against this uncertain backdrop the Clippers played Game 5 of their opening round playoff series against the Golden State Warriors Tuesday night at Staples Center.

Coach Doc Rivers and several players said they didn't know what to expect from fans.

"They've been great all season but, frankly, I'm nervous," Paul said before the game.

And Coach Doc Rivers said "usually a key home game would be a safe haven. Bit I don't know about this time.

No reason to worry. Although the Warriors put up a spirited battle the Clippers earned a 10-point victory.

Almost every Clipper played well and the sellout crowd which exceded 19,600 shouted its approval from start to finish of a 10-point victory.

The teams headed for Oakland and Game 6 Thyrsday night. If a Game 7 is necessary it will be played Saturday at 12:30 at Staples Center.

In recent days response to Sterling's alleged racial comments have been heard from all walks of life, including President Obama, who said ignorant people say ignorant things.

Most NBA owners favor strong sanctions against Sterling, the most interesting one coming from Leslie Alexander of the Houston Rockets.

Alexander favors Commissioner Silver declaring all Clipper players free agents after the season.

With that, he figures, if the league doesn't have the authority to make Sterling sell they can significantly weaken his franchise.

On Oprah Winfrey's Tuesday morning show on CBS she said Sterling's words sound like a plantation mentality in the 21st century.


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