NBA Commish Adam Silver dropped the hammer on Los Angeles Clippers (likely soon-to-be former) owner Donald Sterling. After an audio recording of Sterling making discriminatory remarks during an argument with his sufficiently younger mistress went viral over the weekend, the newly-minted NBA commissioner delivered a devastating blow to the real estate magnate’s basketball franchise.
Silver has banned Sterling from all association with the National Basketball League…for life. The swift move bars Sterling from running Clippers operations or attending games and
came only after a forensic voice specialist, hired by league officials, determined the voice on the audio was actually that of Sterling.
“When I first heard the comments I was hoping it was doctored and hoping it wasn’t Donald. I’ve known Donald for over 20 years.”
Additionally, the billionaire has been ordered to pay a $2.5 million fine.
The team owner is identified going on a racist rant over photos his paramour, V. Stiviano, posted to her Instagram account with African-American athletes, most notably basketball legend Magic Johnson.
“There is no negativity. I love everybody. I’m just saying in your lousy f**king Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with, walking with Black people…You can sleep with them. You can bring them in, you can do whatever you want. The little I ask you is not to promote it on that and not to bring them to my games.”
Sterling further probes:
“Why are you taking pictures with minorities, why? Yeah, it bothers me a lot that you want to promote, broadcast that you’re associating with Black people. Do you have to?”
In reference to V.’s snapshot with Johnson, he continued:
“Don’t put him on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me…And don’t bring him to my games, OK?”
Now, this is where things get dicey. Commissioner Silver technically doesn’t have the power to make Sterling sell his team.
But the other team owners do.
Silver has implored the Board of Governors to force a sale of the Clippers team — which Sterling purchased for $12 million in 1981. The commissioner has vowed to do “everything” in his power to see that the sale happens and “fully expects” to get the needed support from NBA owners.
Just don’t expect Donny Boy to go quietly. Forbes estimates the Los Angeles Clippers franchise is now valued at approximately $575 million.