Donald Sterling Banned For Life: NBA Fines Clippers Owner $2.5 Million, Will Seek 3/4 Owner Vote To Force Sale Of Team [UPDATED]

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  • NBA Silver Adam outstretched
    NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks at a news conference in New York April 29, 2014. Silver announced that Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was banned for life and heavily fined by the NBA on over racist comments he made.
  • NBA  Silver Adam
    NBA Commissioner Adam Silver speaks at a news conference in New York April 29, 2014. The National Basketball Association was facing mounting pressure to impose a harsh punishment on Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for his alleged racist comments that have sparked widespread outrage in the United States.
  • Donald Sterling
    Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling (C), his wife Shelly (L) and actor George Segal attend the NBA basketball game between the Toronto Raptors and the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Dec. 22, 2008.
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(2:36 p.m. ET): Silver expects to receive the three-quarters of owner votes necessary to remove Donald Sterling from his position. “I fully expect to get the support I need from the other NBA owners.”

(2:35 p.m. ET): As of now, Sterling's lifetime ban will not apply to the rest of his family. “There have been no decisions about other members of the Sterling family. This ruling applies specifically to Donald Sterling.”

(2:32 p.m. ET): Silver hopes that sponsors who backed out of their deals with the Clippers in the wake of Sterling's comments "will judge [the NBA] on how we responded to this incident.”

The commissioner is unsure about the financial impact of the Sterling scandal. “I don’t know, this has all happened in three days. I’m hopeful that there will be no long-term damage.”

(2:31 p.m ET) On whether the league will changes its rules regarding owner behavior. 

“We’re always willing to take a fresh look at our rules, our constitution and bylaws, but I feel we have appropriate rules in place to cover a situation like this.”

(2:26 p.m. ET): Silver, on whether the NBA will consider Magic Johnson as the next owner of the Clippers: “Magic Johnson knows that he’s always welcome as an owner in this league.”

(2:23 p.m. ET): Silver says that the NBA will force the sale of the Clippers franchise, and that the process will “begin immediately.”

Silver: “I spoke to several owners, and I have their full support. ...The owners have the authority, subject to a three-quarters vote, to remove him as an owner.”

When asked if the Clippers owner had expressed any remorse for his racist statements, Silver said, “[Sterling] acknowledged that it was his voice on his tape, but has not expressed to me directly any other views."

(2:16 p.m. ET): Silver: "Effectively immediately, I am banning Mr. Sterling for life." Sterling cannot attend games, practices, Clippers facilities, or participate in any personnel decisions. Sterling will also be fined $2.5 million, the maximum amount allowed under the NBA constitution.

Media mogul David Geffen told Forbes that he “would very much like to buy the team” if the league compels Sterling to sell the Clippers. Geffen, who has an estimated net worth of about $6.2 billion, did not otherwise comment on the situation other than to affirm his interest in a team he has long coveted

Commissioner Adam Silver will hold a press conference on Tuesday to announce the findings of the NBA’s investigation into racist comments allegedly made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

Sterling drew intense criticism after TMZ obtained audio of the phone conversation, which appeared to show the 80-year-old telling his girlfriend, V. Stiviano, that he didn’t want her to bring black people to Clippers home games or post photos of black people on her Instagram account. National Basketball Players Association adviser Kevin Johnson, Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Michael Jordan led the calls for league officials to take harsh action against Sterling.

Silver, who took over for David Stern as NBA commissioner on Feb. 1, 2014, is expected to announce sanctions against Sterling over the racially-charged comments, but the extent to which Silver can punish Sterling remains unclear. Tuesday’s press conference will provide answers to several key questions:

-Potential Fines: The NBA constitution bylaws allow Silver to assess a fine of up to $1 million to a league owner—without the approval of the other owners----if the commissioner decides that Sterling’s alleged comments harmed the league’s reputation.

-Suspensions: Silver could issue a suspension to Sterling, which would prevent him from taking part in the Clippers’ day-to-day activities. Sports Illustrated columnist Michael McCann suggested that the NBA could potentially use an indefinite suspension to coax Sterling into selling the team, but such a move would likely meet resistance from the rest of the league’s owners.

-A Forced Sale: The NBA constitution bylaws are confidential, so it’s unclear if Silver has the power to force Sterling to relinquish ownership of the Clippers altogether. The NBA can take control of a franchise, but that move is generally reserved for a situation in which the owner in question can no longer meet his financial responsibilities.

-Player Reaction: In a Monday statement, NBPA adviser Kevin Johnson called for a series of punitive measures against Sterling, including an indefinite suspension, a maximum fine and a forced removal from the Clippers’ day-to-day operations. If Silver’s response seems inadequate, the players are likely to react harshly.

-“Magic” Johnson’s Reaction: The NBA legend is at the center of the Sterling racism scandal; in the leaked phone conversation, the Clippers owner chastised his girlfriend for posting a photo of herself and Magic to her Instagram account. Johnson tweeted that he and his wife would no longer attend Clippers games. Given his stature,  Johnson will likely be one of the most prominent voices in the press conference’s aftermath.

The NBA's announcement regarding its investigation into Sterling will air on Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET. A live stream can be viewed below.

This is a live blog and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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