WWL>Topics>>4-29-14 1pm NBA Commissioner Adam Silver's press conference

4-29-14 1pm NBA Commissioner Adam Silver's press conference

Apr 29, 2014|

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announces the lifetime ban of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Shortly after the release. Of minority -- audio recording this past Saturday morning. Of a conversation that if allegedly included. Clippers owner Donald Sterling. The NBA commenced an investigation. Which among other things included an interview a mr. sterling. That investigation. Is now complete. The central findings of the investigation. Are that the man whose voice is heard on the recording. And on a second recording from the same -- from the same conversation. That was released on Sunday. Is mr. sterling. And that the hateful opinions. Voiced by that man are those of mr. sterling. The views expressed by mr. sterling are deeply. Offensive. And harmful. That they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage. And my personal outrage. Set that sentiment that this kind. Are contrary to the principles of inclusion. And respect. That form the foundation of our diverse. Multi cultural. And multi ethnic week. I am personally distraught. At the views expressed by mr. sterling. Came from within. An institution medicine that has historically taken. Such a leadership role in matters of race relations. And cause current and former players. Coaches. Fans and partners of the NBA. The question their very association. With the -- To them. And Pioneers of the game. Like Earl Lloyd. Chuck Cooper. Sweetwater Clifton. The great Bill Russell. And particularly. Magic Johnson. I apologize. Accordingly. Effective immediately. I am banning mr. sterling. For life from any association. With the Clippers organization. Or the NBA. Mr. sterling may not attend. Any NBA games or practices. He may not be present at any Clippers facility. And he may not participate in any business or player personnel decisions involving the team. He will also be barred from attending NBA board of governors meetings. Or participating. In any other league activity. I'm also finding mr. sterling. 2.5 million dollars. The maximum amount allowed under the NBA constitution. These funds will be donated to organizations. -- dedicated to anti discrimination and tolerance efforts. That will be jointly selected. By the NBA. And its players association. As for mr. sterling to ownership interest in the Clippers. I won't urged the board of governors to exercise its authority. To force a sale of the team. And we'll do everything in my power. To ensure that that happens. This has been a painful moment. For all members of the NBA family. I appreciate the support and understanding. Of our players during this process. And I am particularly grateful. For the leadership shown. Like coach Doc Rivers. Union president Chris Paul. And mayor -- Kevin Johnson of Sacramento. Who has been acting as the player's representative in this matter. We stand together. In condemning. Mr. sterling -- They simply have no place. In the NBA. Thank you and I'll take any questions. Take questions now. -- Scott in the back right. -- got -- -- Bloomberg DUI or any of your emissaries have any clue as to whether mr. sterling. We'll acquiesced to your wish is to sell the team or do you expect to fight. I have no idea. Think the next question right here Rachel. From pulling the owners that is spoken to what support do you think you have to force mr. sterling to sell the team. I didn't all the owners. I spoke to several owners. And I have their full support. On the right Brian. At a -- Associated Press. Well what kind of authority do they have to force a sale. The owners have the authority subject to three quarters vote. Of the ownership groups of the partners. To remove him as an -- Fifth from the -- I am Lisa Guerrero with inside edition the word used specifically was outraged you said that you were personally outraged yet many people believe. That they are outraged that for years people have known that this man is a recess -- slum lord and the NBA hasn't done anything until today. Can you the easy answer why. I can't speak to past actions other than to say that when specific evidence was brought to the NBA. We -- -- Over here second row on the left. Chip in with boxing at the -- I should -- only thirteen for remarks -- and price that is this this slippery slope. Whether or not these remarks were initially shared and private they are now public. And they represented his views. Fifth throw in the medal him. -- microphone their please. It's about us and New York Post that Adam what was that the process to to coming to this decision over the last couple days and when did you decide that. This was the appropriate action today. I ultimately decided this morning that this was the appropriate action and the process beginning. Saturday morning when this first -- when the tape was first released released was. To a point I'm an investigator it was David Anders from the Wachtel Lipton firm. He conducted a series of interviews some by phone some in person he can he concluded his investigation late last night. Seven draw on the left -- give them my -- Jeff please don't depth right there. So the throttle up. Jets in Jeffersonian USA today Adam you say you had to encourage owners to. Force the sale of the Clippers when -- that action take place. The process. We'll begin immediately we will most likely use a standing committee of the NBA. Are the equivalent of our executive committees -- advisory finance committee. I've had several discussions with Glen Taylor who is our chairman of the board and also the leader of the advisory finance committee and we will begin that process immediately. Third row on the end Howard. Our back -- -- report. Patented in your conversations with sterling did he own up to this immediately. That was only after you guys have come come up with some sort of -- and what if anything has he expressed approaching. Remorse regret anything what's what's his sentiment at this point. Mister sterling knowledge that was his voice on the tape. And he has not expressed to me directly any other news. I think we'll go right here please. And Rose are all right see the commissioner right here. What message do you have for the Clippers and their fans and their fan base in terms of moving forward from this point don't. My message to the Clippers fans -- this league is far bigger than anyone owner. Anyone coach anyone player this institution has been around for a long time it was stand for a long time and I have. Complete confidence in Doc Rivers. In the basketball management of that club and players deserve their support they've just been through an incredibly difficult incident. In their lives. On your left harping over against the wall out of are there on -- One of the punishment designed in fact. To get the message across to mr. sterling that there's no point in him there's no advantage you know. And nothing to be seen from him continuing his ownership and also. In determining what the punishment would be including the suggestion to the board of governors. Did you take into account. Mister sterling its past behavior over -- just based on this one particular incident. In meeting out this punishment we did not take into account his past behavior. When the board ultimately considers. His overall fitness. To be an owner in the NBA they were taken into account it a lifetime behavior. To throw in the middle -- In burger from CBS sports dot com Adam can you just explain currently -- present what specific. Power in the in the constitution and violence you exercise with Europe and and what specific. Was -- a broad violation or specific violation and with respect to the forced sale. What specific section of the constitution covers that and is that he brought violation or specific. Cannot let the lawyers lay out for you this specific provisions of our constitution let's just leave it we have authority to act as I've recommended. They throw on the back athletes' commission a Stephanie step from Harlem community radio is the NBA considering more African American ownership at this point. -- -- Thrown back in the middle. I'm sorry is sorry could you repeat the question -- Stephanie step from Harlem community radio is the NBA considering more African American ownership at this point. We're always open to. Ownership from people of all races nationalities ethnicity is. As you know we have an African American primary owner in the league right now Shaquille O'Neal just became a small owner in Sacramento Kings David Robinson is an owner. Of the San Antonio Spurs that -- run of the day. A person of color born in Mumbai India just became the primary owner that Sacramento -- so I believe we have a very diverse league but I always like to see it become even more drivers what about Magic Johnson is not an option. At this point. Magic Johnson knows he's always welcome as an owner in this league he's been a part owner in the past of the loss and the Lakers and he's. Always welcome and close friend of the NBA family. And on your left Adam over. Maggie great SI dot com. Do you talk to any of the players before you came to this decision and what about Clippers players if they do not want to play. For a team owned by Donald Sterling anymore they have any recourse. -- I talked to several players. Before rendering my decision coincidentally I had a trip trip planned for this weekend I was in. Memphis for game I was in Oakland and then I was in Portland Sunday night for games I had a chance to talk directly to Chris Paul. I spoke to other members of the team my spoke extensively to Doc Rivers and I've said Kevin Johnson has been representing the players interest. And he and I've been talking multiple times a day. So I believe the players will be satisfied. With the decision and the renderings. That we made today. If a player in the future doesn't wanna play for the Los Angeles Clippers and he's under contract we'll deal with that. When it happens but that's not my sense of where we are. Back on the left. -- -- -- Counting from the insider with this situation cause you moving forward to put new rules in place for owners from the NBA. I'm not sure I mean we who were always willing to take a fresh look at our rules our constitution and bylaws but I believe we have. Appropriate rules in place right now to cover -- situation like this. Second -- on the left and Adam Ian O'Connor ESPN New York I just be clear you said when specific evidence was brought -- the -- you did act so. In past cases. Has Donald Sterling ever -- -- suspended for racial or offensive remarks and if not one. He's never been suspended -- fine by the leak because while there have been well documented rumors and cases filed. He was -- and the -- lost the lawsuit. Was Elgin Baylor. There was a case brought by the Department of Justice which ultimately. Donald Sterling settled and there was no finding of guilt. And those are the only cases have been brought to our attention and win knows. When that that goes to litigation were brought in were followed closely by the league office. -- just follow to that one of the greatest players of all time Elgin Baylor accused Donald Sterling of -- -- plantation style franchise. Did that not concern you why does that not basket despite the fact he lost the Casey. He has a a prominent standing in the league and he sets very serious things. That concern is greatly we followed the litigation closely and ultimately. Go to Baylor to not prevail and that litigation. Second row right on the right side -- commissions over Brandon Robinson the source magazine. Out of the car Max. State farm withdrew their sponsorship with LA Clippers. As used the commissioner of the NBA what would you tell other people who are maybe on offense -- people who have withdrawn. So wanna in the future investment in one of your franchises of the the LA Clippers. I would say that those marketing partners of the Clippers and partners of the entire NBA should judge us by our response this incident and I think we've responded appropriately. I would be hopeful if they would return. On into their business relationships with the Clippers. On the left on the front against the wall with a great -- left. Thank you Jason Carroll CNN. A wondering if you spoken to mr. sterling about this and or any of his representatives. And if so what has mr. sterling reaction did to the punishment. I did not speak directly to his representatives about. This band. They were informed shortly before this press conference I did not hear precisely what their reaction was. -- Robert -- from the Daily Beast have there been any decisions about whether the media members mr. -- Stanley including. Opera Shell. And is. Will be allowed to remain in an ownership or managerial position in the league as well. Know there have been -- decisions about other members of this sterling family. And I should say that. This ruling applies specifically to Donald sterling and Don sterling conduct only. Six grow on the right. Commissioner Mike McCarthy from that age as you mentioned over a dozen sponsors that drop the Clippers what has been the financial impact. On this franchise and on the leaked from the scandal. You know Mike I don't know this is all happen. And then three days. And so I'm hopeful that there will be no long term damage. Took the lead into the Clippers organization but as I said earlier I'm outrage so I certainly understand other people's outrage. And -- take some time this will take some time. And an appropriate Hewitt will be necessary. Like I can understand. Precisely why you know whether they'd beat people. You know who are affiliated with the NBA where the Clippers for a long time -- those corporate partners I can understand how upset they are. And I'll do my best to to bring them back into the NBA family. Atom chips are at a -- Middlesex row. -- from time if the owners vote three fourths vote not to. Forced the sale can you still on your powers institute a lifetime ban. The lifetime ban has been instituted that is independent of forcing the sale of the team. Okay in the middle give it might for Carl please. Mike -- your post and can you sure this what your initial reaction was when you first heard divorced. The tape and what. Through spells it. When I first started I was shocked. I was hoping somehow that it was fraudulent or that had it had been doctored. That possibly. It wasn't indeed don't sterling. I've known Donald for over twenty years so I suspected it was his voice and we said about it immediately. Investigating and that was my reaction to him sort of bare down and say let's get to the bottom of this as quickly as possible. Six grow on the right at the end. The commissioner Aaron -- -- -- from ABC. Mayor Johnson has indicated he would like the league to undertake a full accounting of Donald Sterling passed and the failures by the NBA to to act until now is that an account you'd be willing to undertake. And would you make any effort to mete out the personal views of of other NBA owners at this point. I've had. As I said earlier multiple conversations with Kevin Johnson. I'm hoping that the actions we take today will satisfy our players I believe. They should. -- throw on the right right in front. Commissioner John Weinstein from New York one can you just tells you said you know Donald Sterling for twenty years. What are your interactions over those twenty years been like with him I have you ever seen anything like this have you ever. Felt anything like this and what kind of man did you attention to be prior to this. I'm. I have I have not been that close to him over the years but there's nothing I've ever seen in his behavior. That would evidence these kinds of -- I've certainly again because they're being. A lot of public filings about his activities I've been aware of those accusations but there's nothing I've ever seen firsthand. That would indicate. That he held the views. That -- expressed on these -- record. Back in the middle please raise your dancing and say yeah thank you commissioner Howard -- sports on earth I'm curious just. I you spoke about your your personal. Response to this. In terms of Donald Sterling. Self identifying is Jewish and and you doing the same as well. I'm wondering whether there was a and -- specific kind of pain associated with that -- you. If you felt a certain responsibility. Within the Jewish community to be responding to this in this way. I think my response was as a human being. And I and I used the word distraught before. I spoke on Saturday morning directly to Chris Paul the Doc Rivers and it it it wasn't even anger at that point I mean there was a certain somberness. And frankly I felt. Sort of most strongly and personally for that team -- this affects every player and anyone associated with the NBA family that for those players. And those coaches to go out and do what they need to do and play at the highest level in the world and have them hang over this I think caused me to have a certain sadness. I would say about the entire situation and so on I think this is regardless of anyone's. Religion ethnicity nationality. I think this is incredibly hurtful. -- to take two more backed by the cameras. Mister mister Silva took the series takes eleven news. At any time during -- conversation with mr. sterling he expressed any remorse or denial regarding these comments. Mister sterling has not express those views directly to me. I'm gonna take two more answer right here for one. Commissioner Andrew is our our rights if you can if it's suggested that -- Sacramento players I'm -- the -- players. Be granted free agency at the end of this year as a result of this issue that's something that can be considered. That is not something we are considered. Final question in the back of the medal. Commissioner there Jason page NBC Sports Radio if you don't get the three quarter -- that you need. Is it possible that Donald -- could still be an absentee owner profiting from this team even though he's -- physically from doing anything with -- I fully expect to get the support I need. From the other NBA owners to remove him.