Report: NBA could take control of Clippers by using 'nuclear option' on Donald Sterling
From Magic Johnson's rumored interest in buying the team to calls for an indefinite suspension of Donald Serling, there is no shortage of drama surrounding the Clippers these days.
A new report reveals the drama may just be beginning. According to Yahoo Sports, the NBA is considering a drastic response to Sterling's alleged racist remarks.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports outlines a "nuclear option" scenario in which commissioner Adam Silver and the NBA could assume control of the Los Angeles Clippers franchise for the time being:
Several league officials – including owners and Board of Governors members – told Yahoo Sports they believe Silver has been studying the nuclear option on Sterling: a provision in the NBA's bylaws that would allow Silver to summon a vote of league owners to strip Sterling of his ownership. The NBA would run the Clippers until the team could be sold.
In addition, Wojnarowski also relays a situation in which the NBA could "minimally" levy some fairly harsh sanctions on Sterling himself:
Minimally, Silver could implement these penalties on Sterling: a one-year suspension, a $1 million fine and an assignment to counseling. For all the years former commissioner David Stern let Sterling slide, there's a strong belief Stern simply feared Sterling in the courts. Sterling is an attorney – he loves litigation – and Stern feared Sterling would become Al Davis to his Pete Rozelle.
A Clippers official was quoted as saying that "there's no way that (Sterling's) going to do anything but stay and fight everyone until the very end to hold onto this", and with Sterling's well-chronicled reputation, the general consensus seems to be that the league will be forced to push him out of the way in forceful fashion. In addition, Wojnarowski reports that Doc Rivers "will never return" as coach if the ownership situation does not change, which could have far-reaching implications on the floor. Silver will speak at a 2 p.m. press conference on Tuesday to discuss the Sterling investigation.