The NBA has reacted swiftly against Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
It has only been a month since audio of his racist remarks leaved to the press and he has already been banned from the league for life and fined $2.5 million.
It now seems that the NBA has initiated the process that should end in ousting Sterling as the owner of the Los Angeles franchise.
According to sources around the league, the NBA has initiated a charge that will look to terminate Sterling’s ownership of the Clippers. The NBA needs a ¾ vote from the Board of Governors to terminate his ownership and sell the team to someone else.
According to the NBA constitution, Sterling is allowed to defend himself and respond to the charges by May 27. He also has the right to make an appearance at a special meeting of the Board of Governors on June 3.
The press release from the NBA states that Sterling engaged in conduct that is damaging to the league and continues to damage the NBA and its teams. It then gives further details into why the NBA believes that Sterling’s actions and comments are damaging.
According to Sports Illustrated, Sterling’s lawyer has asked the NBA to give his client three months to respond to the charge. The NBA is expected to reject this demand and chances are that May 27 will be the definite deadline for Sterling to make a statement and present his case.
The NBA believes that the three-month delay would be unreasonable and the goal is for the Clippers to have new ownership in place before the start of the next season.
Sources learn that Sterling’s lawyer plan to use the defense that was used initially when the recordings were leaked. This is the defense that Sterling is an old and confused man and that he was not aware that he was being recorded when he made the comments.
Sterling is looking to appeal and say that the NBA is overstating the charges and not giving him due process either. Also, another problem might emerge if Shelly Sterling divorces him and retains stakes in the team by doing so.