Silver: NBA right in plans to force Sterling out

NEW YORK — Adam Silver still gets choked up thinking about Kevin Durant’s emotional speech at his MVP press conference.

And when the NBA commissioner contrasts Durant’s address with Donald Sterling’s racist remarks, he believes the league is right in trying to force Sterling to sell the Los Angeles Clippers.

“I think Kevin Durant as our Most Valuable Player embodies what this league is all about, and frankly Mr. Sterling doesn’t,” Silver said Tuesday before the draft lottery.

The NBA charged Sterling on Monday with damaging the league and its marketing partners, and is planning a June 3 hearing after which owners could vote to force him to sell the franchise he has owned since 1981.

Silver already banned Sterling for life and fined him $2.5 million, but wants owners to force the sale, even though he realizes there may be obstacles.

“This is an unprecedented proceeding. Will there be bumps in the road? Presumably yes,” Silver said. “Mr. Sterling, on one hand, at least in his CNN interview, indicated a willingness to accept the judgment of his owner partners. His lawyers are saying otherwise, so we’ll see.

“But this will all get worked out. I know we’re pursuing the right course here and doing the right thing.”

Silver said Sterling’s remarks, which were recorded and surfaced on TMZ’s website late last month early in playoffs, caused anger and sadness in a league in which most players are black.

Silver acted quickly with his punishment of Sterling and owners have followed, the 10-member advisory/finance committee meeting weekly since.

Sterling has until next Tuesday to respond and can appear at the hearing in New York front of owners. It will take three-quarters of them to terminate Sterling’s ownership, and the league says also that of his estranged wife, Shelly.

Donald Sterling’s attorney asked for a three-month delay, which the league rejected. Shelly Sterling’s lawyer has said she is entitled to keep her 50 percent of the franchise even if her husband has to surrender his, so one or more legal fights could be necessary.

Silver said he would prefer if Donald Sterling chose to sell the team on his own, but the process to take it is already well underway.

“At least within the boundaries of my authority, I feel an obligation to protect the people who are within this league, and so that’s my reaction,” Silver said.

More in Sports

Edgar rockets up Hall of Fame ballot as DHs gain respect

Boosted by new-age analysis, the M’s legend has risen from an afterthought to the brink of election.

Results of Cortez Kennedy’s autopsy released

Medical examiner: Former Seahawk and Pro Football Hall of Famer died of ‘congestive heart failure’

Hall-of-Fame voter says Edgar Martinez worthy of induction

The Mariner great is one of 10 players ex-Herald baseball writer Kirby Arnold voted for this year

Jr. Silvertips try to nail down league title

Everett’s 16U midget team can clinch the crown this weekend in Minnesota.

NHL wants Seattle, but is the Emerald City a hockey town?

Seattle is the biggest market in the country without a winter sports team.

Police will not release suicide note in Hilinski’s death

Police say the WSU quarterback shot himself last week in his apartment

Sounders loan midfielder Aaron Kover to Los Angeles FC

The Garfield High School graduate appeared in 44 games over four season with Seattle

‘Braveheart’ helps UW men’s basketball salvage road trip

The film rejuvenated the Huskies, who beat Colorado on Saturday after Thursday’s loss at Utah.

Monroe High’s Monique Fierke looks for the basket during drills at practice on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018 in Monroe, Wa. Fierke is the leading scorer for the Bearcats. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Q&A with Monroe’s Monique Fierke

It didn’t take long for Monique Fierke to make a good impression… Continue reading

Most Read