Player boycott drove Donald Sterling's lifetime ban from NBA

Donald Sterling banned for life, because all teams' players threatened to boycott Game 5

4/29/14 in NBA   |   JoeKukura   |   492 respect

Blog Photo - Player boycott drove Donald Sterling's lifetime ban from NBAWhen Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was banned for life from the NBA on Tuesday, league commissioner Adam Silver had more than just a set of scandalous audio recordings to prompt his decision. He also had a historic ultimatum from all six playoff teams scheduled to play on Tuesday evening. Not only the Clippers players, but players from all five other playoff teams scheduled to play Tuesday night had declared they would not take the court unless Sterling had been banned from the NBA. This includes the Golden State Warriors, Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards, Oklahoma City Thunder, Memphis Grizzlies and their coaching staffs.

For the Chicago Bulls and the Washington Wizards, that means they did not know whether they would be taking the court within six hours of their Game 5 tipoff. Playoff basketball will go on Tuesday night as scheduled, but it would not have if Sterling had not been punished to the players' satisfaction.

All six playoff teams would have boycotted tonight's games if Sterling had not been banned, according to the vice president of the NBA Player's Association. The players additionally had a legal strategy in place to make sure they still got paid in case of a boycott, by claiming Title VII of the Civil Rights Act that prohibits fines for protesting discrimination.

Blog Photo - Player boycott drove Donald Sterling's lifetime ban from NBA"I heard from our players and all of our players felt like boycotting the games tonight," said NBAPA VP Roger Mason, Jr. (far left in the accompanying photo). "We're talking about all NBA players. We're talking about the playoff games tonight."

"I reached out to other players around the league and made it clear the players were ready to boycott the games if this type of action was not something that Adam Silver felt was necessary," Mason continued. "We didn't think this was just a Clippers issue so we didn't want to put the pressure on Chris Paul and Blake Griffin and that team, we wanted to band behind our brothers to do the right thing and that would have been to communicate with the other teams in our league and let them know what we were going to do."

The Clippers had received some heat for not boycotting Sunday's Game 4, played the day after the audio tapes mere made public. But now we know they were ready to boycott Game 5, along with every other team playing a Game 5 Tuesday night.
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4/30/14   |   JenX63   |   32768 respect

(Edited by JenX63)

I don't think it was the player boycott that helped Mr Silver make his decision. I think, at least I hope it was the public outcry. For all the talk of how far we have come in this society, that everyone is equal, we have very little to show for it. Racism will end when more people stand up and say "Enough". He could of and should have been voted out a long time ago, but it didn't serve to make others (owners of other teams) to look great or politically correct. 

4/29/14   |   Debi_L   |   11862 respect

Got this news while I was eating lunch in a sports bar.  They were showing soccer, but immediately went channel surfing to find the news release.  Bravo players, bravo.

4/29/14   |   genobibb007   |   18817 respect

I thought it would have been a bad idea for the players to boycott a series of games because of one idiot's dumb comments. The other owners should not suffer because of Donald Sterling. Kudos to commissioner Adam Silver for the lifetime ban on Sterling , he got what he deserves. Now someone needs to record Cowboy owner Jerry Jones conversations. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that good ole boy has some of same thoughts as Sterling