NBA Plans Tuesday News Conference On Sterling

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  • The NBA is planning a Tuesday news conference to discuss the investigation into embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who is alleged to have made racist comments in a taped conversation.

    NBA spokesman Mike Bass said additional details will be announced, though it’s unclear when that may happen.

    The news conference is a clear sign NBA Commissioner Adam Silver — in the first real crisis of his short tenure — is both following through on his plan to move quickly on this matter and adhering to a request from the players’ union for some sort of resolution in short order.

    The Clippers host Golden State on Tuesday night in Los Angeles.

    “He should not continue owning the clippers,” Lakers star Kobe Bryant wrote Monday on Twitter.

    Fallout from the Sterling scandal continued Monday, with CarMax — the nation’s largest retailer of used vehicles — ending its sponsorship of the team. The company said in a statement it finds the statements attributed to Sterling “completely unacceptable.”

    “While we have been a proud Clippers sponsor for nine years and support the team, fans and community, these statements necessitate that CarMax end its sponsorship,” it added.

    Portions of the recordings were released over the weekend by TMZ and Deadspin. Silver’s first step in the process was to authenticate that Sterling’s voice is on the tape, and while the NBA has not confirmed that it is, Sterling’s wife attributed the comments to her husband.

    “Our family is devastated by the racist comments made by my estranged husband,” Rochelle Sterling said in a statement sent KABC-TV in Los Angeles. “My children and I do not share these despicable views or prejudices. We will not let one man’s small mindedness poison the spirit of the fans and accomplishments of the team in the city we love. We are doing everything in our power to stand by
    and support our Clippers team.”

    Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, the former NBA All-Star who is serving as an adviser to the National Basketball Players Association while the Sterling matter plays out, called it “a massive distraction” to the league.

    What Silver will do remains unclear. He works for the owners — and so far that group seems to have no sympathy for Sterling’s latest controversy.

    Among those who have spoken out publicly to condemn the alleged Sterling remarks: Washington’s Ted Leonsis, Miami’s Micky Arison and perhaps most notably, Charlotte’s Michael Jordan, who won six NBA titles as a player.

    “I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views,” Jordan said in a statement released Sunday. “I’m confident that Adam Silver will make a full investigation and take appropriate action quickly.”

    Silver started as commissioner Feb. 1, replacing the retired David Stern. Silver met with Kevin Johnson on Sunday and heard five things that the players’ union wants from the commissioner, that
    list includes:

    —Sterling doesn’t attend any NBA games for the rest of the playoffs because of the “enormous
    distraction.”

    —A full account of past allegations of discrimination by Sterling and why the league never
    sanctioned him.

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