Apr 30, 2014 1:33 AM by Sean Mooney
TUCSON - The NBA's rookie commissioner, Adam Silver, facing his first crisis delivered a clean swish at a league press conference on Tuesday.
Los Angeles Clipper's Owner, Donald Sterling was banned from the NBA for life. Adam Silver was very specific about what the ban entailed saying, "Mr. Sterling may not attend any NBA games or practices, he may not be present at any Clipper facility and he may not participate in any business or player personnel decisions involving the team."
The banishment also includes no involvement in any league activity and a $2.5 million fine. The ruling is one the most severe ever handed out in the NBA.
But according to U of A Law Professor, James Ratner, no crime need be committed for the league to punish its own, "According to their constitution and bylaws they give the commissioner the authority to fine and suspend, and that's very, very likely to be held up in court."
According to NBA bylaws, a three quarters vote by the 29 other team owners could force the sale, maybe, "Because you're an owner the NBA has a lot of control over whether you can continue to be an owner", Ratner said, "so they do have power, it's just a question of whether the way it's written up in the NBA bylaws and constitution are sufficient to justify that and he can sue."
There have been other owners who have gone to war with their leagues, including MLB's Marge Schott and the NFL's Al Davis but none have paid the price that it appears Donald Sterling is about to.
The Clipper's website currently displays only three words "We Are One", but there is one they would like to see go away forever, a man many believe is not about to go down without a fight.
Donald Sterling bought the clippers in 1981 for $12.7 million. The team is now estimated to be worth well over $600 million. Prior to his banishment Sterling was quoted as saying his team is not for sale.