The verdict is in and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver wants Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling out. The support toward Silver’s ruling was unanimous.
“Bravo Silver,” tweeted Lakers Kobe Bryant. That was then retweeted over 4,000 times in 10 minutes.
In a press conference this morning, Silver made the announcement that Sterling is banned for life from the Clippers organization, and will be issued a $2.5 million fine. The fine is the maximum amount allowed under the NBA constitution, and will be donated to anti-discrimination and tolerance efforts, which will be selected by the NBA and the Players Association.
“We stand together in condemning Mr. Sterling’s views. They simply have no place in the NBA,” Sterling said during his press conference.
Following the ruling, the Clippers organization released a statement.
“We wholeheartedly support and embrace the decision by the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver today. Now the healing process begins.”
Reaction from across the NBA came pouring in on social media. Both Lakers legend Magic Johnson and current Lakers shooting guard Jodie Meeks took to Twitter to show support of Silver’s decision.
“Watching Adam Silver’s Press Conference! Appreciate you man! #LAfamilia #greatjob #support,” Meeks tweeted.
As part of the lifetime ban, Sterling is not allowed to attend any NBA games or practices. He may also not be present at any Clippers office or facility, and may not participate in any business or player personnel decisions involving the team.
Being one of the people singled out in Sterling audio released by TMZ, Johnson was extremely pleased at the severity of the sanctions placed on Sterling.
“Commissioner Silver showed great leadership in banning LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life. Current and former players now know that in Commissioner Adam Silver we have a great leader leading our league,” Johnson tweeted.
Johnson went on to thank players and coaches such as Miami Heat’s LeBron James, Clippers’ Chris Paul, and Clippers’ head coach Doc Rivers for speaking out against Sterling’s comments.
Silver stated he will urge the Board of Governors to use its authority to force Sterling to sale the team. Reports have come in that many parties are interested in buying the team. During a press conference in Los Angeles, Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar also spoke out on Silver banning Sterling from the NBA.
“[Silver] handled it the right way. I’m so happy that he did that and it’s going to be a new day here in this city. A whole lot of Clipper fans [are] going to have a lot more to smile about,” said Abdul-Jabbar. “I’m thrilled with the outcome…we’re looking forward to some very positive changes.”
Changes that Clipper fans hope start with a win over Golden State at home in Game 5 of the NBA playoffs tonight.