NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told reporters in Memphis, Tenn., on Saturday evening that racist remarks allegedly made by Clippers owner Donald Sterling were “truly offensive and disturbing” and said the league intended to conduct an investigation into the recording’s authenticity that would “move extraordinarily quickly,” possibly concluding in the next few days.
Silver would not comment on possible repercussions for Sterling should the league be satisfied it was his voice on the recording. They are believed to include a hefty fine or suspension, though a mandate for him to sell the team is considered unlikely.
“There are broad powers in place under the NBA’s constitution and bylaws that include a range of sanctions,” Silver said, “and all of those will be considered depending on the findings of our investigation.”
Silver said Sterling, who attended Game 3 at Oracle Arena in Oakland on Thursday night, had agreed not to attend Game 4 there on Sunday.
TMZ released an audio recording late Friday night purportedly capturing Sterling making racist statements in the course of an argument with a female friend earlier this month.
A voice identified by TMZ as Sterling's can be heard telling the friend, identified as V. Stiviano, that he was upset she posted a picture on her Instagram account of herself next to Lakers legend Magic Johnson.
“It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people,” Sterling allegedly says, later adding, “I’m just saying, in your … Instagrams, you don’t have to have yourself with, walking with black people.
“Don’t put him on an Instagram for the world to have to see so they have to call me. And don’t bring him to my games.”
Silver said he had spoken with Clippers Coach Doc Rivers and All-Star point guard Chris Paul, telling them he was sorry they had to deal with a “most unfair” distraction in the middle of their playoff series.