Sterling banned for life by NBA

In a fast-spinning day of news out of the Clippers and the National Basketball Association, some highlights stand out:

  • NBA Commissioner Adam Silver stepped out front and ordered that Donald Sterling no longer take part in the operation of his team, the Los Angeles Clippers. This means the owner cannot go to games, come into the team's offices or take part in team decisions or league meetings. Sterling also was fined $2.5 million. Silver said that he would ask the other owners to take steps to strip Sterling of his ownership, and predicted he would get the support of the three-fourths needed to remove Sterling. The pressure will be enormous on Sterling to sell the team he has mismanaged for 33 years.
  • Silver said Sterling acknowledged his voice was on the recordings, in which a man identified as the wealthy property owner ranted about blacks coming to "his" basketball games. “The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful,” Silver said. “That they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage and my personal outrage.”
  • NBA names including from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar stood on the City Hall steps with Mayor Eric Garcetti to support Silver's decision and reinforce that Sterling needs to go.
  • we-are-one-clippers.jpgWhile this was all going on, the Clippers organization replaced its website with a simple graphic black box and the statement that "we are one." In a statement, the team's front office said, “We wholeheartedly support and embrace the decision by the N.B.A. and Commissioner Adam Silver today. “Now the healing process begins.”
  • UCLA announced during the afternoon that it would return $750,000 donated by Sterling for kidney research and reject the rest of a planned $3 million donation. The campus noted that Sterling, not UCLA, had placed a congratulatory ad in last week's Los Angeles Times. The decision was met with controversy in social media and the news media, with more than half of those to answer a TMZ survey saying UCLA should not have given up potential money for research.
  • Clippers coach Doc Rivers just finished a press conference in front of a packed media room at Staples Center. He said the players were reassured by Silver's ruling and would be ready to play tonight's fifth game of the playoffs against the Golden State Warriors. Rivers also predicted the fans would be amazing tonight. He suggested that Silver's action was the effective end of Sterling's involvement with the Clippers, or at least the beginning of the end. (And can we say: the Clippers, the NBA and maybe even Los Angeles are really lucky that Rivers was in place when this storm erupted a few days ago. "Face of the team" doesn't even cover it.)
  • David Geffen made it known he's interested in buying the Clippers. "If the Clippers become available he would be interested in buying the franchise," his office said via email.

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