Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been suspended for life by the NBA, and league commissioner Adam Silver said he will do “everything in [his] power” to force Sterling to sell the team.
Silver is currently discussing the sanctions at a Manhattan press conference. He opened his remarks by announcing that the NBA had investigated the alleged tape of Sterling’s remarks and determined it was authentic and not altered.
Sterling will be banned from attending games or practices and exercising any control over the Clippers franchise. Most consequentially, said Silver, “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 happens.” The Board of Governors—which consists of ownership representatives from the league’s teams—can remove an owner with a three-quarters majority vote. Silver says he “fully expects” that the owners will vote to remove Sterling.
Update, April 29, 2:55 p.m.: The Clippers’ team website is now directing to the following image.
Update, April 29, 3:05 p.m.: USA Today has Silver’s full statement.
Update, April 29, 3:15 p.m.: The Clippers have issued a statement from coach Doc Rivers on behalf of the entire organlization. Writes Rivers, referring to the team’s next playoff game (tonight at 10:30 p.m. Eastern):
I hope STAPLES Center is packed and people are cheering for the players. The players are now in the middle of this, and they have to deal with it.
We are all trying to figure out everything as it goes and just do our best and we hope that it is the right answer. I’m still going to do my best and do what I think is best for the team and for everybody in this case. It is very difficult because there are so many emotions in this. This is a very emotional subject, this is personal.
My belief is that the longer we keep winning, the more we talk about this. I believe that is good. If we want to make a statement - I believe that is how we have to do it.
Update, April 29, 3:25 p.m.: Yahoo basketball reporter Adrian Wojnarowski tweets that a source on the Board of Governors says the group may unanimously support Sterling’s removal: