The NBA dropped the hammer hard on Clippers owner Donald Sterling by slapping him a $2.5 million fine and a life-time ban for his racially-sensitive comments. Then again, the controversy doesn't end there as a suspicion of a grand setup might have just happened.
On Tuesday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver revealed the league's decision to place the harshest punishment under the NBA constitution on Sterling after verifying the authenticity of the audio tapes, which contains racially discriminating words directed towards Afro-American people.
"The central findings of the investigation are that the man whose voice is on the recordings ... is Mr. Sterling and that the hateful feelings are those of Mr. Sterling. The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply disturbing and alarming," Silver said during a news conference Tuesday via USA Today.
Sterling's alleged girlfriend V. Stiviano reported cooperated with the league in the investigation and confirmed that it is indeed the Clippers owner's voice on the audio recording.
"The woman on the recording cooperated with the NBA, as did a third person who was in the room when the tape was made, a source told ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne. The woman verified to the league that it was her and Sterling on the tapes, according to the source," according to ESPN on Tuesday.
Magic's Grand Plan?
NBA's decision to ban Sterling for line and plan to force him to sell the Clippers franchise has been embraced tremendously by its players and basketball fans around the world. However, there are some who suspected the whole thing is a set-up for Magic Johnson and his backers, the Guggenheim Partners, to buy the Clippers.
On Tuesday's edition of the Rush Limbaugh show, a Dallas-based caller came up with an intriguing theory behind the Sterling's controversy. The caller believed Magic Johnson and his group used V. Stiviano girlfriend to set up Sterling and put him on the hot seat.
Limbaugh did not provide a clear stance on the caller's suspicion, but he did come up with an interesting take for his listeners to ponder upon.
"Folks, there's an intricate web being woven here. This sugar babe (Sterling's mistress) is all over L.A. sports! She's with Sterling...she's with Magic... This whole thing is coming together so clearly," Limbaugh said.
Well, the caller's theory is certainly intriguing. After all, Magic indeed expressed his intention to expand his sports empire beyond the Dodgers, and he has now become the frontrunner to buy the Clippers franchise, which is expected to on sale for over $1 billion.
However, accusation should be proven with clear evidences. Without it, a theory will be nothing more but hearsay.