When Adam Silver took over for David Stern as the new NBA commissioner, no one could have predicted he would have to handle an ordeal quite like the one involving Donald Sterling in his first year. The racist and offensive comments made by the Los Angeles Clippers owner has put Silver in a spot in which he must provide the harshest penalty, assuming the audio recording is indeed accurate.
As much as the majority of the public would thoroughly enjoy watching Sterling lose ownership of the Clippers, it unfortunately doesn’t seem like that will be the quick decision made by Silver. In fact, the commissioner will not make any verdicts until the league completes a detailed investigation.
“All members of the NBA family should be afforded due process and a fair opportunity to present their side of any controversy,” Silver said, according to ESPN. “The core of the investigation is understanding whether the tape is authentic, interviewing Mr. Sterling and interviewing the woman as well and understanding the context in which it was recorded.”
The biggest fear has to be that Sterling’s girlfriend, V. Stiviano, will try to protect him. Even though she’s the one who made the audio recording and sent it to TMZ, she may regret what she did and try to make it up to Sterling by covering for him during the investigation. That in itself would put a huge damper on what the NBA is willing to do as far as a punishment is concerned.
On the other hand, she could comply with the league and provide even more details that weren’t leaked on the recording. That would be enough to give Sterling every motivation to take the Clippers away from Sterling for good, which has been a long time coming anyways.
Sterling’s multiple issues with the federal law involving discrimination towards minorities and countless embarrassments he has caused for the NBA has made him the most hated man in the league. His most recent action should be enough for Silver to put him in his place.