Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “It would be tough for a kid getting drafted or a free agent player making a decision to lay for this franchise without a change of ownership in place,” players union vice president Rojer Mason Jr. told this newspaper. “I would hope it gets done sooner or later.”Mason Jr. revealed the players union also considered a league-wide boycott had Silver provided a less swifter punishment.The NBA decided otherwise, making a ruling four days after a set of audio recordings released by TMZ and Deadspinfeatured comments made by Sterling to girlfriend V. Stiviano, urging her not to bring black friends to Clippers games. Silver said the NBA’s investigation confirmed it was Sterling’s voice in those tapes.“The views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful,” Silver said. “That they came from an NBA owner only heightens the damage and my personal outrage.”The Clippers organization released a statement that said: “We wholeheartedly support and embrace the decision by the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver today. Now the healing process begins.” Clippers guard Chris Paul added in a statement, “My teamamtes and I are in agreement with his decision. We appreciate the strong leadership from Commissioner Silver and he has our full support.” Clippers president Andy Roeser will handle the day-to-day operations, while Clippers coach Doc Rivers will oversee basketball operations. Rivers, who suggested uncertainty beforehand whether he would stay if Sterling still owned the team, downplayed that variable.“We’re going to let this play its course,” Rivers said. “I’m not in the position nor do I want to be in a position where I’m threatening anything. I want my players to be comfortable.”In 2009, Sterling paid $2.7 million to settle a lawsuit that accused him of practicing housing discrimination in various L.A.-based real estate properties to blacks, Hispanics and families with children. Former Clippers general manager Elgin Baylor filed a wrongful-termination lawsuit against Sterling that likened his leadership to that of a Southern plaintation owner, a case a jury eventually rejected. Silver said the NBA never penalized Sterling beforehand because there was never definitive proof of guilt. “We did not take into account his past behavior,” Silver said. “When the board ultimately considers his overall fitness to be an owner in the NBA, they will take into account a lifetime of behavior.”Silver said he did not know if Sterling will fight the decision. But Silver downplayed any concerns surrounding Sterling’s comments being recorded in a private setting.“Whether or not these remarks were shared in private,” Silver said, “they are now public and they represent his views.” Amid racially charged comments attributed to him in a released audiotape, Clippers owner Donald Sterling faces a lifetime suspension, $2.5 million fine and a possible forced sale of the franchise, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced in a press conference Tuesday in New York.“I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers organization or the NBA,” Silver said.Sterling, who has overseen the Clippers franchise for the past 33 years, will not be allowed to attend any basketball games or practices or have any say in business or personnel decisions. Sterling also will be barred from attending the NBA’s Board of Governors meetings. Silver said the fines will go to anti-discrimination organizations selected by the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association.Silver added he will urge the Board of Governors to force the sale of the team. “I will do everything in my power to assure that happens,” said Silver, who added he needs only a three-quarters vote for a measure to pass. “I fully expect to get the support I need from the other NBA owners to remove him.”Silver’s decision sparked strong support.Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban tweeted he agreed “100%” with Silver’s punishment against Sterling. Lakers legend Magic Johnson tweeted praise, lauded Silver’s “great leadership” and added, “Former and current NBA players are very happy and satisfied with Commissioner Silver’s ruling.”“Adam was decisive, firm and compelling and showed great leadership in his condemnation of the horrible and offensive comments that have led to this action,” Lakers president Jeanie Buss said in a statement.Yet, according to a league soruce familiar with the proceedings, the NBA currently does not know when the next Board of Governors meeting will take place for a vote.