Adam Silver did the right thing.
The NBA Commissioner did the only thing he could do with racist Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
Silver banned Sterling for life for bigoted comments caught on tape.
Sterling cannot attend games, cannot walk into any Clippers building, cannot have a say in team business, and cannot participate in league meetings.
What’s more, Silver will urge the NBA Board of Governors to exercise its authority to force sale of the team “and do everything in my power to insure that that happens.’’
Silver also fined Sterling $2.5 million, the maximum allowed under the league’s constitution.
The only thing Silver missed was banning Sterling from even watching NBA games on TV.
It’s can be a tricky thing to kick out an owner. When asked what would happen if he couldn’t get the necessary three-quarters vote of ownership to force Sterling to sell the team, Silver strongly stated he was confident he would get what he needed.
Believe me, he already has those votes. He’s too smart to go public with this kind of dare without knowing what kind of support he has.
In fact, I expect the vote to be unanimous, and here’s why: Which owner wants to be the guy who voted not to strip a racist of his ownership?
Silver said he was personally outraged by Sterling’s comments. He looked and sounded suitably pained.
Silver also sounded sincere in expressing concern for Clippers players and coaches trying to win a title under disgusting circumstances. He talked to Clippers coach Doc Rivers and Clippers star Chris Paul. He also talked to other owners in trying to find the right response to an awful turn of events.
Silver’s one weak moment came when questioned about accusations of Sterling’s racist past. That’s on former commissioner David Stern, and so, his successor had to stand behind Sterling’s lack of a conviction and no admission of guilt.
NBA people knew Sterling is a guy with some bad thoughts and actions. Now, though, they had him.
To that end, Silver rallied when he explained that the Board of Governors would consider Sterling’s full profile before voting to force him to sell the franchise.
Silver did as well as he could. Tuesday was a good day for the NBA under the circumstances. The new commissioner shined. He exiled a despicable man.
Sterling is gone, as he should be. Gone to be alone with his sick thoughts.