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Sacramento Mayor and former NBA point guard Kevin Johnson has been asked to represent the NBA players’ interests regarding the alleged racist comments made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling and any disciplinary action the league may take against Sterling. The Players Association is without an executive director after Billy Hunter was removed in 2013 and so Johnson, who recently fought to keep the Kings in Sacramento, will try to unify the players and make sure their concerns are heard by the league before any final decisions are made regarding Sterling.
It is not clear what the NBA’s constitution allows in terms of disciplining owners in a situation like this. The most significant action ever taken by an owner for misconduct came against Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor when he and Kevin McHale made an illegal player contract with Joe Smith in 2000. Taylor was suspended a year and fined $1 million. It is possible that Sterling will receive a similar sanction. What is not likely is any sort of removal procedures imposed by the owners and Commissioner Adam Silver. Generally, leagues can only take a team from an owner when they have committed some sort of serious crime, or they are insolvent. No laws were broken by Sterling, and his team is very profitable, so this does not seem like a likely scenario.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver stated in his press conference on Saturday that the NBA would conduct an investigation into the Donald Sterling situation. Silver said the main goal would be to authenticate the tape and make sure that it was Sterling who made the racist comments. Silver also said that the NBA would interview Sterling and possibly Stiviano, the woman heard on the tape.
Silver indicated that the league could have a final ruling by as early as Tuesday. However, if Stiviano is unwilling to cooperate with the investigation, it could delay the NBA from making a final decision on how to deal with this situation. If Stiviano does not cooperate, then the league may push forward and make a final ruling anyway, but would do so without hearing from one of the only two people involved in the conversation in question.
Hopefully there will be no major delays with the NBA’s investigation. The sooner a decision is made, the sooner the league and its fans can try and focus on what has been an extremely entertaining first round of the playoffs.
With the recent firing of Mike Woodson as New York Knicks head coach, the hiring process surrounding Steve Kerr is intensifying. What were once rumors are now verified meetings between Kerr and Knicks president Phil Jackson. It is becoming clear that Jackson really likes Kerr as a candidate because of Kerr’s familiarity with the triangle offense and their similar beliefs and ideas about the game.
Kerr stated that he learned a lot of what he knows about basketball from Jackson and Tex Winter, the innovator behind the triangle offense. While Kerr would not confirm that he would implement the triangle offense, his statement about Jackson and Winter strongly indicates that some of those philosophies will be used. Also, Kerr speaking about the finer details of what he would do as the Knicks head coach seems to confirm the reports that the job is his if he wants it.
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