NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned Donald Sterling for life and fined him $2.5 million in late April after a tape recording emerged in which Sterling made derogatory comments about blacks. Sterling, 80, sued the league, but his efforts to keep the Clippers failed after Shelly Sterling removed her husband from the family trust because of mental incapacitation.
The NBA's Board of Governors voted via e-mail last week to approve the sale, and it was a unanimous 29-0 vote. The Clippers did not vote.
“This is an amazing new day in Clippers history,” Clippers President of Basketball Operations and Coach Doc Rivers said in a statement. “I couldn’t be more excited to work together with Steve as we continue to build a first-class, championship organization. I am already inspired by Steve’s passion for the game, his love of competition and desire to win the right way and I know our players and fans are going to be inspired as well.”
Fan reaction outside Staples Center on Tuesday was mixed.
"He got shafted. If you said something, would they make you sell your company?" was the reaction of Nathan Allen, a 40-year-old radiologist from Alabama.
Victor Arana, a 34-year-old paralegal and a Clippers fan for the last decade, said he was happy the team got sold. "I think Donald Sterling was all around a bad guy for many reasons other than the alleged racism."
Mirza Avdovic, a 27-year-old teacher from New York said he's glad to see Sterling gone. "I'm from New York and we're very diverse and open out there so I didn't like what happened. It's always good to have a fresh start."
Derrick Parker, a 46-year-old business owner, also said he was glad to see Sterling gone. "I'm excited, I think it's good for the game. It doesn't solve racial relations, but it makes a difference. It's a beginning."
Demetrius Everson, a 36-year-old stagehand, said of Sterling: "I don't think he should have lost his team because of the statements he made. He's been like that for a long time."