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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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tcroof May 04 2014 at 5:19 PM

please don't give it to the blacks, whitey can't afford another gov't subsidized organization, that would make the 47% rise to approximately 60%, and whitey really can't afford it

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jimnivens1 May 04 2014 at 6:07 PM

how can nba force him to sell. he owns the damn team that he bought sterling i am sure will go to court over this and will win as sterling has the right of freedom of speech in the good ol usa and if he does not care for blacks , he has the right to say so

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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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jimnivens1 May 04 2014 at 6:18 PM

When I first heard of this news, I said I hope "they" boot him out I changed my mind as Sterling has the right to say what ever the hell he wants to, it.s freedom of speech
I hope he sues TMZ,NBA and whoever else

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1 reply
stepnet3 jimnivens1 May 04 2014 at 6:30 PM

Don't forget the gold digger who illegally taped the call to begin with. Where does the NBA get the right to choose the CEO? Don still owns the team. Fascism at its best. The NBA execs should all wear brown shirts like Hitler's men did before he waged war on his own German people and then the rest of Europe.

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1 reply
himinamis stepnet3 May 04 2014 at 6:51 PM

I still want to find out why - if the NBA Commisioner prevents Stirling from doing any deals concerning basketball - then how can he sell the team? Is that not part of his so-called Punishment. Also, the team should be sold strictly to Blacks. Let Oprah, Obama, Magic and even O.J. purchase the team for $10.00. That's all the team is worth. The Leagues (all of them) have such high priced tickets that the poor cannot go to the games - yet they lobby for poor Black kids to wear their $300.00 Basketball Shoes because some Over Priced Dork endorsed them. Now, I think Obama should jump right in the middle of this "Race" thing and straighten it out like he did with Benghazi, Solyndra and Lybia. He fixed all of those things...didn't he?

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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.

Flag Reply +9 rate up
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