BUFFALO, NY NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has handed down the harshest penalty possible to Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for making racist comments during a recorded phone conversation.
Silver gave Sterling a lifetime ban, fined him $2.5 million and called on NBA owners to force Sterling to sell the franchise, something that will happen if three-fourths of the league's 29 other owners agree with the measure. The penalties come just three days after the phone conversation was made public.
The punishment of Clippers owner Donald Sterling received high praise throughout the league. Miami Heat forward LeBron James tweeted the following:
Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan said Silver sent a powerful message that there can be zero tolerance for racism and hatred in the NBA. Union officials said that if the league's punishment hadn't included a mandate for Sterling to sell the team, players were considering boycotting playoff games, including Tuesday night's Warriors-Clippers game.
Two On Your Side's Stu Boyar spoke to former Buffalo Braves owner Paul Snyder about Sterling's comments and the discipline that Silver handed down Tuesday afternoon.
"The NBA has worked so hard to be a great league and have a wonderful product and that is so detrimental to everybody and whether he thinks, I question that he really meant what he said, he sounds like he was trying to impress his girlfriend or whatever that woman was to him and I feel bad for him. It was terrible for the league but he deserved what he got. He just caused so much damage," Snyder said.
Boyar asked Snyder what he thought about Silver urging other owners to force Sterling to sell the Clippers." I think that if I were an owner in good standing, I would think it's a good thing...I think if I were an owner that had screwed up my dealings in the league I'd think Oh my God, that could happen to me... and I think about seriously... how could I get in trouble... I may not say something, but there's a lot of ways to make a mistake as an owner... and I would be careful what I hoped for," Snyder said.
Snyder also told Stu that "I only met him [Sterling] once in my life and I didn't like him then, I don't like him now."
Snyder also discussed the late Jack Ramsay who coached the Buffalo Braves from 1972 to 1976. Snyder told Stu "Jack and I were never buddies or close that way. We were professional people working together and I respected him and I hope he did me."