Donald Sterling received the harshest penalty the NBA could give on Tuesday, after he was slapped with a lifetime ban and a $2.5 million fine for his racially discriminating words on the audio recording leaked by TMZ last weekend. NBA commissioner Adam Silver also disclosed the league's plan to force the billionaire to sell the Los Angeles Clippers franchise with the affirmation of the majority of the Board of Governors.
"Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has been banned for life by the NBA in response to racist comments the league says he made in a recorded conversation. NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he will try to force the controversial owner to sell his franchise. Sterling has also been fined $2.5 million, and Silver made no effort to hide his outrage over the comments," ESPN reported.
However, the NBA might be in for a long fight as Fox Sports NBA insider Jim Gray reported that Sterling has no plans in selling his franchise, despite the decision of the NBA commissioner.
"He really didn't want to comment on the record," Gray said. "However, the team is not for sale and he will not be selling the team."
With Silver's punishment set to be imposed immediately, all eyes will be on the NBA Board of Governors, which is consists of the 29 other team owners, to finish the job by booting Sterling out of the league for good through voting.
"Under the terms of Paragraph 13 of the constitution, NBA owners also have the right, by three-fourths vote, to revoke ownership if an owner "fails to fulfill" a "contractual obligation" in "such a way as to affect the [NBA] or its members adversely," Leigh Steinberg of Forbes reported.
The NBA owners are likely to have Sterling's ownership revoked, but that could just be a start of nasty legal battle between Sterling's business empire and the league.
"Donald's not wired to let all this in," Former Clipper staffer told Forbes. "I'll bet he's preparing to sue the league for devaluing his franchise."