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NBA to appoint CEO to supervise Clippers

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The NBA said Saturday it will appoint a chief executive officer to supervise the Los Angeles Clippers' operations after banning owner Donald Sterling from the league for life.

The league announced its decision a few hours before the Clippers faced the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of their first-round playoff series.

On Tuesday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling for racist comments made on an audio recording, fined him $2.5 million and urged league owners to force him to sell the team.

"The best way to ensure the stability of the team during this difficult situation is to move quickly and install a CEO to oversee the Clippers organization," Mike Bass, the NBA executive vice president of communications, said in a statement. "The process of identifying that individual is underway."

The decision was welcomed by Sterling's long-estranged wife, Rochelle, who said she was fully committed to making the Clippers the best team in the NBA.

"I spoke with Commissioner Adam Silver this week to tell him that I fully supported his recent swift and decisive action," said Rochelle Sterling, who was expected to attend Game 7.

"We also agreed at that time that, as a next step, both the league and the team should work together to find some fresh, accomplished executive leadership for the Clippers. I welcome his active involvement in the search for a person of the utmost character, proven excellence and a commitment to promoting equality and inclusiveness."

A forced sale would require approval of three-fourths of the league's owners. The NBA's 10-member finance/advisory committee held a conference call Thursday, agreeing to move forward quickly on the potential sale.

Sterling hasn't said whether he will fight the league in court.

Clippers President Andy Roeser has been the franchise's most prominent executive in recent years, but Roeser upset many team employees last weekend when he released a statement questioning whether the incriminating recordings of Sterling were legitimate. Roeser's statement seemed too sympathetic to Sterling for many outraged employees, with apologetic words about the 80-year-old owner alongside criticism of V. Stiviano, the other voice on the recordings.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers spent Friday morning speaking with upset employees who felt further betrayed by Roeser's statement. Rivers also serves as the Clippers' senior vice president of basketball operations.

Rivers wasn't fazed by the timing of the league's latest decision shortly before the Clippers' biggest game of the season.

"We've got to talk about everything else, so let's talk about that, too," Rivers said. "The NBA has to do their job, they really do. They have a lot on their plate as well, and I don't think it's something they can wait on. They're going to do their job."

Rivers said he hadn't yet been consulted by the league on the specifics of its CEO search, although he is in regular contact with Silver.

The NBA has made similar moves in the past. The league appointed Jack Sperling to supervise the New Orleans Hornets during the 2011-12 season after taking over financial operation of the team from owner George Shinn.

The Clippers have already begun their transition away from the last 33 years under Sterling, the NBA's longest-tenured owner.

When the players went back to work at practice Friday, Sterling-related memorabilia had been removed from the trophy case in a public hallway at their palatial $60 million training complex built by Sterling six years ago. Even the "Sterling Drive" sign outside the Playa Vista facility had been taken down.

If the NBA is able to force the Clippers' sale, the team is certain to be pursued by many wealthy buyers. Oprah Winfrey, David Geffen and Larry Ellison immediately expressed interest in a joint bid, while Magic Johnson's ownership group with the Los Angeles Dodgers also is likely to be interested.

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STAN THE MAN May 04 2014 at 5:12 PM

If these blacks that are crying like little girls they should blame their Ancestors from Africa for their problems here today. If they know how to read they should start reading up on their own black history which most know nothing about. Their black Ancestors sold their slaves to the white man for what ever they could get. It's not like the white man ran into the jungle after them, they were being sold by Africans in one country or the other because the head of the tribes had there own slaves, and there were hundreds of tribes. If the Dutch never brought them to America we would not be having all these problems with all these people that call themselves African Americans. How could they call themselves African Americans when they were born in this country and not in Africa? Anyone born in Africa that comes to this country should be considered African American if they want to become a citizen. What kind of made up bullshit are these blacks calling themselves? Go back to Africa.

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3 replies
poet.whitman May 04 2014 at 5:54 PM

Never knew so many ultra right-wing white folks cared so much about a Jewish team owner in NBA.
A quote from Sterling's Wikipedia Bio: " Sporting News described Sterling as "one of the worst owners in basketball for decades", while The New York Times and Forbes have called him the "worst owner" in sports. ESPN The Magazine in 2009 named the Clippers the worst franchise in professional sports. Since purchasing the Clippers in 1981, Sterling's ownership oversaw the worst winning percentage through 2013–14 of the four major American sports leagues. Uncharacteristic for an owner, Sterling in 2010, heckled players on his own team—with Baron Davis receiving the harshest treatment—while the owner sat courtside during home games."
Why would other owners challenge Sterling's ownership before. This year the Clipper's screwed-up and became competitive and Sterling caught spewing his plutocratic plantation owner philosophy. "Don't be seen socialising with negroes" was his instructions to his GF.

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1 reply
acowgurl poet.whitman May 04 2014 at 6:33 PM

Oh wow Wkipedia, there's a highly respected source, not. ... so what, Sterling had a failing franchise. Maybe he needed a tax right-off. Even a pancake has two sides. We'll hear the other side of this one day.

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darla.leigh May 04 2014 at 5:54 PM

Oh get over it. The race card when played against whites is always woe is me but the blacks never admit to their racist garbage against whites. Sterling owns the team, not the NBA. Private property. I say let the Clippers go away.

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patriot1too May 04 2014 at 6:10 PM

We will never watch nor support the NBA ever again due to their race card playing antics against this innocent white citizen. America has no place for race baiting reverse discrimination against innocent people.

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kdnjsea2 May 04 2014 at 6:14 PM

If he takes this to court it will be tied up for years , this guy isn't going anywhere

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bullmesht May 04 2014 at 6:17 PM

I wonder if Whoopie or Oprah ever says anything racist in their homes. We all know what Shaq thinks of disabled people. How about Nick Cannon. Maybe Al and Jesse? Do we get to take all their money?

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napa422 May 04 2014 at 6:30 PM


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2 replies
Phyllis napa422 May 04 2014 at 6:37 PM

You left out Al and Jessie!

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texastotenmom napa422 May 04 2014 at 6:37 PM


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slvs2hike May 04 2014 at 6:32 PM

Funny---there are all black fraternities who are NOT pro-white, B.E.T. which is all about blacks and many other black only organizations who, you can bet, make jokes and look down on anyone/thing that are not black---but this old fool makes an anti-black statement and hes hung out to dry. Not in agreement with his statements at all--but this is total B.S.

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1 reply
vg431 slvs2hike May 04 2014 at 6:47 PM

Yes for sure Slv. Mark my words they gave them blacks to much crying and complaining and some time soon we'll pay for it. The police, courts and public have so much trouble as it is now that Obama have become President that they feel above the law and that their ENTITLED to some much more then other people. They want more go work for it like everyone else and stop stealing or pushing drugs and expecting the government to hand it to you .

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Phyllis May 04 2014 at 6:36 PM

I think it is a shame that you cannot say what you want in your own home. I daresay about ninety percent of the people in this country say things in their home that they would not want anyone else to hear, I know I do.

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1 reply
johnny Phyllis May 04 2014 at 7:40 PM

Anyone in your own home with a tape recorder,can now make it front page news? There are conditions though.......

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vg431 May 04 2014 at 6:40 PM

My God give it a rest. How long are they going to play the race card? If something was said about the Indians or the Braves etc would we be plagued with so much crap . News must really be short on things to report.

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