NBA commissioner uses biggest tool by seeking removal of Clippers owner
NEW YORK — Adam Silver used the biggest weapon the NBA commissioner has when he banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life and said he would move to force Sterling to sell his team.
Sterling can pay the $2.5 million fine Silver issued. The lifetime ban for Sterling? Maybe inconsequential as long as the Clippers are making money and filling his bank account.
But in his unprecedented rebuke of Sterling on Tuesday, it was clear that what Silver wants — along with several players, coaches, owners, fans, public officials and activists — is a new owner for the Clippers.
“I will urge the Board of Governors to exercise its authority to force a sale of the team and will do everything in my power to ensure that that happens,” Silver said, far more confident and resolute than he was on Saturday when news broke of Sterling's racially insensitive comments.
Silver is relying on the NBA's Constitution and By-Laws, which say the interest of an owner “maybe terminated by a vote of three fourths (of the Board of Governors).”
“Let's just leave it that we have the authority to act as I've recommended,” Silver said.
After hearing the evidence, the board will vote and, based on Silver's comments and statements from league owners, the owners plan to remove Sterling. If that happens, the league will assume control of the team and look for a buyer.
Asked if he expected Sterling to fight, Silver said, “I have no idea.”
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.