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Owners’ NBA advisory/finance committee takes first step to oust Donald Sterling

May 1, 2014, 7:10 PM EDT

File of Clippers owner Sterling sitting as he watches team play Knicks in NBA game in Los Angeles File of Clippers owner Sterling sitting as he watches team play Knicks in NBA game in Los Angeles

At some point pretty much everyone around the league expects Donald Sterling to start fighting back — likely in the courts, likely with a mountain of paperwork. Because that’s who he is.

But for now the owners are moving forward on Adam Silver’s edict to oust Donald Sterling as owner of the Clippers. Thursday evening the NBA released this statement:

“This afternoon the Advisory/Finance Committee met via conference call to discuss the process for termination of Donald T. Sterling’s ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers. The Committee unanimously agreed to move forward as expeditiously as possible and will reconvene next week.”

That committee is chaired by Minnesota owner Glen Taylor and it’s other members are Miami’s Micky Arison, the Lakers’ Jeanie Buss, Oklahoma City’s Clay Bennett, New York’s James Dolan, Boston’s Wyc Grousbeck, San Antonio’s Peter Holt, Phoenix’s Robert Sarver, Indiana’s Herb Simon, and Toronto’s Larry Tanenbaum.

As part of the process the NBA would have to present Sterling with charges, he would have several days to respond, then there would be a vote within 10 days of that time. It is outlined in Chapter 13 of the NBA’s constitution, although most of what is in there outlines specific offenses (gambling on the team, not meeting financial obligations). There is an area that covers “ethical conduct” in business transactions and dealing with sponsors — the NBA can point to the sponsors leaving and the impact of Sterling’s words and actions on business and use that to oust him.

It would take a three-quarter’s vote of the owners, or 23 of the other 29. All 29 other owners have already come out in support of Silver’s actions (which included a lifetime ban for Sterling and a $2.5 million fine) and with the public watching this none would dare vote against it for fear of backlash.

Sterling, however, is expected to put up one heck of a fight. That day is still coming.

  1. shanelsweet - May 1, 2014 at 7:23 PM

    I don’t expect him to fight back much so long as he’s getting paid. If a fight starts, it’ll be about money. Now isn’t the time for the other owners to be frugal. Just pay him to go away and be done with it.

    • TheMorningStar - May 1, 2014 at 8:05 PM

      You obviously don’t know anything about his past. Sterling is a lawyer and will absolutely fight this in a court of law.

      This is going to take years.

      • kinggw - May 1, 2014 at 10:07 PM

        His past is largely irrelevant. It doesn’t matter that he said he’s not going down without a fight, his options are limited. He can’t fight the ban because he is subject to the NBA constitution and Silver was within his bounds. Best case scenario the other owners cannot force him to sell his team and he’s stuck with a team he can’t do anything with.

        This won’t take years, it may take a few months at most.

      • shanelsweet - May 1, 2014 at 11:23 PM

        No court of law will stop the league unless it’s over money

      • asimonetti88 - May 1, 2014 at 11:44 PM

        “He can’t fight the ban because he is subject to the NBA constitution and Silver was within his bounds.”

        I believe what you mean is he can’t win. That doesn’t mean he won’t fight.

      • spursareold - May 2, 2014 at 10:04 AM

        He’ll fight, but he doesn’t have year. Everyone around him is amazed that his prostate cancer hasn’t killed him yet.

  2. jollyjoker2 - May 1, 2014 at 8:06 PM

    righteous folk – glen taylor who with kevin m. gave joe smith cash under the table.

  3. clickablecontent - May 1, 2014 at 9:11 PM

    If Sterling digs in his heels, does the NBA have the power to decertify the team?

  4. jerdogthompson - May 1, 2014 at 9:13 PM

    Who is your source Morningstar? Your comment comes across as very matter of fact. Did you consider;

    *13 players are under contract next year, if no one comes to play for him he doesn’t have a team (long shot but possible)

    *staples center will be empty, no one will buy clipper gear and DTS is stuck with zero sponsors and those lucrative TV deals would likely be rescinded. Oh yeah, DTS still has to pay rent.

    *Most estimates put the Clippers fetching anywhere from 1.3 to 1.7 billion. Given the above, a year from know the team could go as low as 700 million. DTS is wealthy but a 600mm to 1 billion dollar haircut is significant.

    *Lastly, he could argue hardship by virtue of the league forced sale and be able to use the proceeds to buy an overseas soccer/football team to avoid paying taxes. Sorta like a 1031B in the case of real estate.

    Bottom line is he would like to fight, however, after his legal team has a good consultation with him they will clearly outline the above along with a host of other variables that I haven’t mentioned and it’s highly likely DTS will understand selling is TRULY the only option.

    I’m certain all the Clipper haters out there will try and fantasize about all the players leaving for their team, our coach as well because DTS wants/likes a good fight. All I can say is keep fantasizing as that’s all it will be at the end of this. A FANTASY


    • asimonetti88 - May 1, 2014 at 11:52 PM

      Right, because if there’s one thing that Sterling is known for, it’s his logic. And if there’s one thing he’s not known for, it’s stubbornness.

    • TheMorningStar - May 2, 2014 at 6:43 PM

      I stand…correct.

  5. rcali - May 1, 2014 at 9:35 PM

    This is getting great. Wait till he and his legal team fight back, pure entertainment. Not one player has anything on him so if they don’t show up, they don’t get paid, and the fines will sky rocket. The courts won’t back a “hostile” environment claim just because he said a racist remark outside the work office that mentions nobody from the Clippers.

    No one showing up to games? Big deal, that happened for decades. People will come and claim they are “there to see the other team.” Sponsers? Dude is worth over a billion, he’s not worried, they’ll come back. Like other Sports, the NBA has profit sharing, money’s coming to the team one way or another. The value of the team won’t drop if he is eventually forced to sell it, in fact by that time, it will be worth even more just because of where this team is located and plus they’ll get all those rightous sponser back.

    Whether we like it or not Sterling will spend the rest of his waking days digging up dirt on everybody, whether it be players, owners, coaches, front office execs etc… Entertainment!

  6. luz56 - May 1, 2014 at 9:44 PM

    Watch the bidding war for the LA team.. The real winner is Sterling money wise.

  7. fordmandalay - May 1, 2014 at 9:44 PM

    Sterling is 81. The odds are he’ll be dead before the court battle is even close to being over.

  8. rdrfan - May 1, 2014 at 10:09 PM

    All this because someone said something in private. What a fricken joke. Sure would be different if he was blk.

  9. vstar1us - May 1, 2014 at 11:57 PM

    Just call a spade a spade, you get the heck out of here and quit making the rest of us white owners look bad!

  10. dyn0myte - May 2, 2014 at 1:15 AM

    Can Sterling provide as evidence a recently posted Instigram photo of an NBA owner mocking the disfigured face of a physically disabled young man?

    If humiliating, denigrating, and insulting a group of human beings – any group of human beings – warrants a lifetime ban, then shouldn’t disciplinary action be applied consistently?

    Sterling may be a relic with values and attitude wholly inappropriate for today’s world, but though we may disagree and dislike (with valid reason), he still must be treated fairly.

    • spursareold - May 2, 2014 at 10:10 AM

      Physically disfigured young men are not the primary demographic of NBA league fans. This is not a race issue, it’s a money issue. The equivalent would be to buy a NASCAR team, and then tell your GF that you don’t want her bringing all those bubba white trash folks to your NASCAR races. That’s your fan base.

  11. jerdogthompson - May 2, 2014 at 1:55 AM

    Yeah rcali, just read the article about his battle with cancer and;

    COME AGAIN?????

    You jokers are truly priceless.


  12. jerdogthompson - May 2, 2014 at 2:01 AM

    Holy Donald bat man. Did he pay you jokers to be here and post?

    I’m seeing way too many weird new names to think otherwise. Perhaps you all wanted to tape those conversations but the bimbo beat you to it? That’s rich, I mean c’mon.

    Get a life, better yet keep coming back and spewing nonsense it’s what keeps us all entertained. Clowns.

  13. ksingleton101 - May 2, 2014 at 4:38 AM

    I don’t understand the big issue with his comments. It sounded to me as if he was telling this bimbo that she could do what ever she wanted to do with her black friends at home but to leave them alone when they are on the court. That to me sounds like she may have been pitting one man against another on his team therefore causing bad feelings between the men. Was it wrong for him to say “black men” when it could very well have been only the black men she was taunting? Either way I feel the conversation being taped was a violation of Federal Law and surely California Law if it was done without his knowledge and consent.

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