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Donald Sterling banned from NBA for life; league will try to force him out

Donald SterlingDonald Sterling has been banned from the NBA for life.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced on Tuesday that Sterling will no longer be allowed to attend any events pertaining to the NBA or the Los Angeles Clippers. He has also been fined $2.5 million, which is the maximum amount allowed by the league.

Perhaps more importantly, Silver also announced that the process of trying to force Sterling out of the NBA altogether will begin “immediately.” The league’s owners have the power to remove Sterling from his position as owner of the Clippers with 75% of the vote. Silver said he will urge the Board of Governors to force the sale of the team and “do everything in my power” to assure that happens.

Silver said that Sterling confirmed to him that it was indeed his voice on the audio recordings.

A previous report from TMZ indicated that Sterling would be suspended indefinitely and fined $5 million.

Report: Doc Rivers will ‘never return’ to coach under Donald Sterling

Doc-Rivers-cries-return-to-BostonDoc Rivers has kept his future plans vague since the Donald Sterling audio recording first surfaced last week. Considering Rivers probably has no idea what he is going to decide when the Los Angeles Clippers’ season comes to an end, that makes sense. But according to one report, he has already decided he will not return to LA next season if Sterling is still in charge.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski, sources told Yahoo Sports that Rivers “will never return as president and coach under Sterling” next year. And if Rivers leaves town, that will likely start a trickle-down effect where several top players demand to be let out of their contracts or traded. Simply put, the worst is yet to come.

On Tuesday, NBA commissioner Adam Silver will announce the league’s findings and what the future holds for Sterling and the Clippers franchise. Wojnarowski says Silver has been studying a “nuclear option” which would allow him to summon a vote of league owners to force Sterling out.

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Clippers players may make ‘bigger statement’ against Donald Sterling for Game 5

donald-sterlingThe Los Angeles Clippers chose not to make excuses after they were overpowered by the Golden State Warriors on Sunday, but they certainly looked like a distracted team. With the series now tied 2-2, you have to wonder if Doc Rivers’ team will be more or less focused for Game 5 at home on Tuesday night.

Game 4 was obviously about more than just basketball. The Clippers showed that when they ceremoniously piled their warmup jackets at center court and turned their warmup shirts inside out before the game. The players also wore black armbands and socks to send an obvious message. According to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports, the message could be even louder during Game 5.

The Clippers players are contemplating making a bigger statement during Game 5 of the series against the Warriors on Tuesday in Los Angeles, a source told Yahoo Sports. The source said the players needed more time to decide what they wanted to do and would prefer a stronger statement on their home floor at Staples Center.

Matt Barnes and Jamal Crawford are said to have organized the protest before Game 4. By the time Tuesday night rolls around, each player in the Clippers locker room will have had more time to think about how much of a bigot their owner is. Winning a basketball game may not be their top priority, and you can certainly understand why.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

Shelly Sterling preparing to divorce husband Donald?

Donald Shelly Sterling

Shelly and Donald Sterling were married in 1957, though they have been estranged for years. But it sounds like Shelly may be prepared to finally divorce Donald.

TMZ reports that Shelly hired prominent divorce attorney Laura Wasser several months ago to prepare the gold digger lawsuit against Donald’s girlfriend V. Stiviano. Wasser is the same lawyer who filed divorce papers on behalf of Kim Kardashian and Vanessa Bryant. TMZ says a divorce seems imminent.

Though the two have been estranged for years and don’t sit together when attending Clippers games, the final straw for Shelly supposedly came last year when their 31-year-old son, Scott, died of a drug overdose. She apparently felt like he was more concerned with Stiviano than grieving with the family.

Additionally, Shelly put out a statement that differs from what she told Lisa Salters at the Clippers-Warriors playoff game Sunday.

“Our family is devastated by the racist comments made by my estranged husband. My children and I do not share these despicable views or prejudices.”

In comments to Salters earlier in the day, Shelly said she was not sure if it was her husband’s voice on the audio recordings. I guess she’s sure now.

President Obama comments on Donald Sterling audio recording

Donald SterlingPresident Obama weighed in on the alleged comments made by Clippers owner Donald Sterling in an audio recording after being asked about it Sunday in Malaysia.

Obama, who is on a diplomatic mission, was asked about the Sterling recording while holding a press conference with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. He responded by calling Sterling “ignorant.”

“When ignorant folks want to advertise their ignorance, you don’t really have to do anything, you just let them talk. That’s what happened here,” the President said via CNN.

Obama also reportedly said Sterling’s alleged comments are an example of how “the United States continues to wrestle with the legacy of race and slavery and segregation.

“That’s still there, the vestiges of discrimination. We’ve made enormous strides, but you’re going to continue to see this percolate up every so often.”

While the NBA is taking a measured approach in addressing the situation — Commissioner Adam Silver said the league is investigating the authenticity and context of the recording — the President is coming right out and saying how he feels.

Though the league is giving Sterling due process in the matter, the public sentiment is pretty much unanimous in its feelings of anger and disgust towards the Clippers owner. President Obama’s comments are a reflection of this reaction.

Troy Vincent: I played with six openly gay players

Troy Vincent NFLMichael Sam became the first high-level football player to publicly reveal he is gay, but that doesn’t mean he’s the first openly gay player in the NFL.

Senior Vice President of player engagement Troy Vincent says he played with six openly gay players during his career.

Vincent, who made five Pro Bowls during his 15-year career, was speaking at an annual league meeting with sports editors when he made the revelation.

“I think what has changed over the years is now that it has become public,” Vincent said Thursday via USA Today. “In my 15 years in the NFL, I played with six openly gay players in the locker room. It’s a workplace and it’s up to those individuals to disclose their sexual orientation. We’ve also been working alongside Michael [Sam's] team, as a prospect and just preparing him for what life is like an NFL player … It’s nothing new for the players inside the locker room, but I think the player addressing that publicly is something we’re working on.”

Vincent played in the league from 1992-2006. He spent four seasons in Miami, eight in Philly, nearly three in Buffalo and part of a season with the Redskins.

With every athlete that comes out, we get closer and closer to players’ sexuality no longer being stories. But because we’re still breaking barriers and new ground, it remains headline news when an athlete publicly reveals that they are gay. Gay players have been in the NFL and others sports for years, the only difference is that the news was never made public.

Aaron and Andrew Harrison returning to Kentucky

Harrison-Twins-Kentucky

Kentucky fans are still trying to get over a tough loss to UConn in the national championship game earlier this month, and they received some great news on Friday that should execrate the healing process. The Wildcats’ twin guards, Aaron Harrison and Andrew Harrison, have decided to return to Kentucky for their sophomore seasons.

Both Aaron and Andrew announced the decision on their respective Twitter accounts.

As usual, John Calipari is expected to bring in one of the top recruiting classes next season. The return of the Harrison twins will give the Wildcats something they have been lacking in recent years come tournament time — experience.

“They wanted to stay in school,” the twins’ father Aaron told ESPN on Friday. “They wanted to explore their options and see what’s out there. They probably made up their minds last week. All the information they got from the draft was that they were middle to late first round. They had to weigh going back to school and improving and maturing. All the things added up to that.”

Julius Randle and James Young, Kentucky’s top two scorers, have already declared for the draft. However, the Harrisons will join Alex Poythress, Willie Cauley-Stein, Marcus Lee and Dakari Johnson as freshman who have decided to stick around for another year.

“I’m coming back for a second season in large part because last year’s title run was special, but we still have unfinished business,” Aaron said.

Aaron knocked down not one but two game-winning 3-pointers in the NCAA Tournament to spark Kentucky’s improbable run to the Final Four. The Wildcats should be the No. 1 team in the preseason rankings later this year for a second straight year.