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.
New Barca coach Ernesto Valverde.Barcelona, Spain | AFP | Barcelona host rivals Real Madrid in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup on Sunday (2000GMT) badly in need of a morale-boosting win following the world record sale of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain.Despite banking 222 million euros ($261 million) for the Brazilian, Barca’s scattergun approach to finding a replacement has so far been unsuccessful with bids for Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele of Borussia Dortmund so far rebuffed.New Barca coach Ernesto Valverde must therefore try to down the European and Spanish champions with a weaker squad than the one which missed out to Real for the La Liga title last season.However, Barca did manage to beat Madrid without the then suspended Neymar the last time the sides met in competitive action back in April as Lionel Messi won an incredible encounter 3-2 with the last kick of the game.The Catalans also edged last month’s Miami friendly between the two in Neymar’s last game for Barca 3-2.Valverde’s men completed a perfect pre-season on the field with a fourth straight win by sweeping aside Chapecoense 5-0 on Monday in a match to raise funds for the stricken Brazilian club who lost 19 players and 24 club officials in a plane crash last year.“We’ve had a good pre-season and we are coming into the game in good condition,” said Valverde.“But on Sunday the real thing starts, with a competitive game and a title at stake against our biggest rivals.”Gerard Deulofeu was handed Neymar’s role alongside Messi and Luis Suarez up front against Chapecoense on his return to the club after spells at Everton and AC Milan.And the Spanish international took his chance with a goal and two assists in just 45 minutes on the field. “It is always a pleasure to play here and even more so with these players,” said Deulofeu.Valverde is likely to stick with Deulofeu, but the former Athletic Bilbao coach could also strengthen Barca’s midfield by sacrificing a forward to add Sergi Roberto to the normal midfield three of Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic and Andres Iniesta.– Ronaldo return an option –Despite failing to win any of their pre-season games, Madrid started the new campaign as they ended last season with another trophy as Zinedine Zidane’s men proved too strong for Manchester United to win the UEFA Super Cup 2-1 on Tuesday.Casemiro and Isco were on target as Madrid’s midfield dazzled in Skopje, Macedonia, but Zidane will be forced into at least one change from the side that started in midweek as Luka Modric is suspended.Should Zidane wish to maintain the 4-4-2 system he has utilised to huge success in 2017, Mateo Kovacic is the favourite to replace his Croatian teammate in midfield.However, Modric’s absence increases Cristiano Ronaldo’s chances of returning to the Madrid starting XI after making just a brief cameo appearance as a substitute against his former club in Macedonia.Ronaldo only returned to training with his teammates last weekend on their return from a tour of the USA having been given an extended break following Portugal’s participation in the Confederations Cup and a court appearance in Madrid over allegations of tax evasion.Share on: WhatsApp