|04.29.14 at 2:25 pm ET|
NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced Tuesday that he is issuing a lifetime ban to Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling on top of a $2.5 million fine following the league’s investigation into the racially insensitive comments made by the 80-year-old business magnate. In addition, Silver announced that he will urge the Sterling family to sell the Clippers franchise.
Here is Silver’s statement:
Shortly after the release of an audio recording this past Sunday morning of a conversation that allegedly included Clippers owner Donald Sterling, the NBA commenced an investigation which among other things included an interview of Mr. Sterling. That investigation is now complete. The central findings of the investigation are that the man whose voice is heard on the recording and on a second recording from the same conversation on Sunday is Mr. Sterling and that the hateful opinions voiced by that man are those of Mr. Sterling.
The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful. That they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage and my personal outrage. Sentiments of this kind are contrary to the principles of inclusion and respect that form the foundation of our diverse, multi-cultural and multi-ethic league. I am personally distraught that the views expressed by Mr. Sterling came from within an institution that has historically had such a leadership role in matters of race relations and caused current players, coaches, fans and partners of the NBA to question their association with the league.
I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers organization or the NBA. Mr. Sterling may not attend any NBA games or practices. He may not be present at any Clippers facility in any business or player personnel decisions involving the team. He will also be barred from attending NBA Board of Governors meetings or participating in any other league activity.
I am also fining Mr. Sterling $2.5 million dollar, the maximum amount allowed under the NBA constitution. These funds will be donated to organizations dedicated to anti-discrimination and tolerance efforts that will jointly be selected by the NBA and its players association.
As for Mr. Sterling’s ownership interest in 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. This has been a painful moment for all members of the NBA family.
I appreciate the support and understanding of our players during this process and I am particularly grateful for the leadership shown by coach Doc Rivers, union President Chris Paul and Mayor Kevin Johnson of Sacramento, who has been acting as the players’ representative in this matter. We stand together in condemning Mr. Sterling’s views. They simply have no place in the NBA.
The suspension and fine act under Paragraph 24(1) of the NBA constitution that states that the commissioner can suspend an owner indefinitely and fine him up to $2.5 million for situations where owners’ conduct is not otherwise covered.
In order for the Board of Governors to force Sterling to sell the team, three-fourths of the owners will need to vote in favor of such movement under Paragraph 13 of the NBA constitution. Silver expects to receive full support from the rest of the owners. Sterling purchased the Clippers prior to the 1981-82 season.
Silver also made clear that the rest of the Sterling family is not part of the ban.
The suspension and fine follows heavy backlash against Sterling following the release of an audio tape where a man, allegedly Sterling, chastises Vanessa Stiviano over posting pictures of herself with black people to her Instagram account, most notably pointing to a photo with Magic Johnson. Many prominent figures around the country have spoken out against Sterling in the last couple of days.
“When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don’t really have to do anything, you just let them talk,” said President Barack Obama. “That’s what happened here.”
“As an owner, I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views,” said NBA legend Michael Jordan in a statement. “As a former player, I’m completely outraged. There is no room in the NBA — or anywhere else — for the kind of racism and hatred that Mr. Sterling allegedly expressed.”
“He shouldn’t own a team anymore,” said Johnson on ABC’s NBA playoff pre-game show. “I had a friendship with him. So for him to then make these comments, or alleged comments, about myself as well as other African-Americans and minorities, there’s no place in our society for it. There’s no place in our league, because we all get along. We all play with different races of people when you’re in sports. That’s what makes sports so beautiful.”
Sterling’s own team has stepped up and protested against him. Before their game against the Golden State Warriors on Sunday, the Clippers players removed their shooting shirts, revealing inside-out warmup gear and hiding the Los Angeles Clippers logo. Miami Heat players reproduced the Clippers’ silent protest in an act of solidarity, removing their team-branded shirts and wearing inside-out warmup shirts to hide their team logo.
|04.29.14 at 12:04 pm ET|
According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski, sources suggest that Clippers coach Doc Rivers would not return to the team as either the president or head coach if Donald Sterling remains as owner of the team.
The report goes on to say that if Rivers left, there would likely be other members of the organization who would follow in attempting to exit the organization.
A press conference where NBA commissioner Adam Silver will address Sterling’s controversial racist remarks is scheduled for 2 p.m. (The press conference can be heard on live on WEEI.)
|04.29.14 at 11:34 am ET|
Appearing on the Dennis & Callahan Show Tuesday, Celtics radio broadcaster, and former Clipper, Cedric Maxwell responded, “Yeah,” when asked if he thought Clippers coach Doc Rivers now regretted leaving the Celtics after the recent controversy surrounding owner Donald Sterling.
“I don’t think anyone could foresee this coming,” Maxwell said. “I don’t think anybody could see this coming with any owner in the NBA. If you know that, if you knew that before you left here, you were a fool to leave. And I know Doc Rivers is not foolish.”
Maxwell noted that when he played for the Clippers, no mention was made of the owner’s rumored racism, citing the infancy of Sterling’s NBA tenure at that point. “Nobody was talking at that point,” the former Celtic said.
Maxwell said he believes action has to be taken in regards to Sterling’s involvement with the Clippers.
“Most people that I know, most players that I’ve talked to, most people of color and even most people not of color, they want him out of the game,” he said. “Even then he still owns the team. There will still be a stigma associated to it. Until he’s out of that arena, out of basketball, I don’t know about anything that will appease the general public.”
Maxwell did take issue with how the audio was attained, while making it clear the message was inexcusable. “I have a problem with (the taping) and I have a problem with what was said,” he said, adding, “He’s not the only owner who’s ever said anything about a black player. It’s just the fact that the curtain was pulled back because it was a taped conversation.”
To listen to the entire interview, click here.
|04.29.14 at 10:02 am ET|
ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith joined Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday to discuss the racist remarks that Clippers owner Donald Sterling allegedly made. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
While Sterling’s alleged remarks recently created an uproar, the Clippers owner has made headlines with his discriminatory actions in the past. Still, Smith made the case that this was dramatically different.
“You could have a spouse or a partner, and you could know that they’re cheating on you and the thought of that hurts you, but it’s something to know that, and it’s something entirely different to walk in on them and witness them actually doing it,” Smith said. “And in the case of Donald Sterling with the audio tape, it’s sort of tantamount to that because it’s one thing to hear the stories about him, to sort of suspect it and know it, but at the same time you’re working, you’re playing the game you love, you’re coaching the game. You love doing what you want to do and that’s it. Or if you’re a co-owner everyone’s making money, you live your life, you live this — fine.
“It’s another thing entirely for it to slap you in your face right there, front and center, and say, ‘Here I am. This is who I am. This is who I’ve been. This is who you’ve known all this time and there’s been unequivocal evidence and it’s clear there’s nowhere else to go but where you are. … Everybody has a right to feel the way they want to feel, and you can’t legislate what’s in people’s hearts, but when they throw it in your face flagrantly, it’s the ultimate form of disrespect, and it’s something that can’t be tolerated and that is how it’s viewed what Donald Sterling has done and most of white American and beyond can’t ever be accused of being guilty of being that stupid.”
The NBA will address the situation on Tuesday when Commissioner Adam Silver holds a press conference in New York City at 2 p.m.
“I think there’s one thing he could say — he could say Donald Sterling will no longer be an NBA owner,” Smith said. “Himself and the owners collectively standup in unison and have made the decision that Donald Sterling will be removed as owner of the Los Angeles Clippers … not only can there be a $1 million fine, there can be a $2 million fine, there can be a complication of draft picks from the Clippers organization, but there can also be a lifetime ban, which could ultimately force Donald Sterling to have to sell this team … There are mechanisms in place within the constitutional bylaws of the NBA that would facilitate somebody else taking over the team and taking it away from Donald Sterling. Read the rest of this entry »
|04.29.14 at 10:02 am ET|
Less than a month after the Warriors fired him from his assistant coaching position, Darren Erman has returned to the Celtics.
The C’s hired Erman as the team’s director of NBA scouting, according to Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowksi. Prior to joining Mark Jackson‘s Golden State staff, Erman served as a coaching assistant under Doc Rivers from 2007-11.
Erman’s previous stint with the Celtics involved scouting and individual skill development, and the Emory University product developed a reputation for his ability to study film during his tenure.
Shortly after the Warriors reassigned another assistant coach — former Celtics forward Brian Scalabrine — they announced Erman’s dismissal. ESPN later reported his departure involved a “violation of company policy” centered around his recording of internal conversations without consent. It didn’t take long for the Celtics to bring him back to Boston, which should speak volumes about how president of basketball operations Danny Ainge feels about the 37-year-old.
The Boston Celtics have hired ex-Golden State Warriors assistant Darren Erman as Director of NBA Scouting, league sources tell Yahoo.
‘ Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) April 29, 2014
|04.29.14 at 9:30 am ET|
The NBA has announced that it will hold a 2 p.m. press conference regarding the investigation involving Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Here is the official statement, which was attributed to league executive vice president of communications Mike Bass.
“The NBA will hold a press conference tomorrow [Tuesday] to make an announcement about its investigation involving Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Additional details will be announced.”
The press conference will be heard live on WEEI during the Dale & Holley show.
|04.24.14 at 4:25 pm ET|
Paul Pierce knows the postseason as well as he knows Boston.
“This is the playoffs,” he said from the Nets practice facility in East Rutherford, N.J. “This is do or die.”
Pierce played 136 playoff games over 15 seasons for the Celtics. His 24,021 points rank second on the team’s all-time scoring list, brought a championship back to Boston in 2008, and also earned the NBA Finals MVP that very same season. The Truth restored meaning to the NBA’s signature franchise, so No. 34 still appreciates that Celtics fans are watching his run in Brooklyn.
“There’s a lot of fans [in Boston],” he added, “and I’m happy for their support.”
Kevin Garnett spent the last six seasons as a Celtic, patrolling the Garden paint and delivering a Bill Russell-esque intensity focused completely on winning. Up until this season, Garnett had played his last 84 playoff games for Boston, providing the interior defense, elbows, scowls and growls that the people of Boston know intimately well.
“This is a different level of intensity,” said Garnett, who verified the fans in Boston understand that vigor and fury. “A different level of concentration. Some people can withstand that for 48 minutes, and some can’t.”
Pierce and Garnett helped Brooklyn split the first two games with the Atlantic Division champion Raptors. Now the Nets head back to play two home games in the Barclays Center, a place Pierce still finds odd calling home. He has registered two playoff games so far for the Nets, and is still getting used to placing his long arms through a green and white jersey before each game.
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