Swift Severe Action Was NBA Commissioner's Only Real Choice - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Swift Severe Action Was NBA Commissioner's Only Real Choice

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Brand new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is a man of strong conviction and conscience.  He’s also a man of great intellect.  He, perhaps as well as anyone, was abundantly aware of what was at stake if he hadn’t dealt with the Donald Sterling
scandal drastically, decisively and immediately. While the media and pundits openly debated and analyzed every nuance of the Clippers owner’s recorded remarks about blacks, Silver was working feverishly behind the scenes with those who are the heart and soul of the organization, including the powerful players association, to prevent what clearly could have become an NBA meltdown of unprecedented proportion.
 
Make no mistake about it, this was a crisis that could have shaken the multi-billion dollar league to its financial core. If you doubt that, consider this. The Clippers players had already registered their disapproval with a small but significant
protest in Game 4 of their playoff series against the Warriors by turning their warm-up jerseys inside out. Three thousand miles away, the champion Miami Heat players did the same thing in solidarity. But that was just the tip of the iceberg.
 
What most people don’t know is that there were other, more disruptive forms of protest being plotted if Silver had not acted as he did. According to a report from a Bay Area columnist, the Warriors had a plan. The players were going to
go through the pre-game warm-ups and take part in the national anthem and starting line-up introductions as normal at Game 5 of the playoffs. They were going to take the floor for the jump ball. But once the ball was in the air, they were just going to walk
off—all 15 of them! Not only that, but they were going to try to convince the Clippers to do the same thing. Something tells me it wouldn’t have taken much arm twisting to get Clippers players to go along.
 
Imagine, if you will, these kinds of protests taking place in multiple cities right during the all-important playoffs. The impact from Main Street to Wall Street would have been tremendous to say the least. Former NBA star and current Sacramento
Mayor Kevin Johnson even suggested during a news conference yesterday in Los Angeles that players throughout the league were unflinchingly prepared to boycott. The result could have been unimaginably devastating to professional basketball for who knows how
long. And Commissioner Silver taking the added step of trying to force Sterling to sell the team at some point in the future was likely necessary as well.
 
Do I believe Silver personally was deeply disturbed and extremely hurt by Donald Sterling’s rant?  Absolutely. Do I think he believes in his heart the measures he took against Sterling were right?  Totally.  If he wanted to preserve the integrity and financial stability of the NBA, could he have taken any other available course of action? Realistically,
probably not.

Tony McEwing co-anchors FOX 11 Morning News at 4:30 am and provides news updates for the Emmy award winning Good Day LA, broadcast weekdays from 7:00 - 10:00 am. He also co-anchors the FOX 11 10 am News and the FOX 11 News at Noon.
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