Clippers players didn't talk to reporters before the start of Game 5 of the Western Conference quarterfinals against the Golden State Warriors, but point guard Chris Paul released a statement regarding the NBA's decision to ban owner Donald Sterling from the league.
"In response to today’s ruling by the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver, my teammates and I are in agreement with his decision," Paul said in the statement. "We appreciate the strong leadership from Commissioner Silver and he has our full support.”
Paul's statement came out roughly 15 minutes before Clippers Coach Doc Rivers was scheduled to speak with reporters at a news conference at Staples Center.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued sweeping sanctions against Sterling on Tuesday in response to controversial remarks about blacks made by Sterling. In addition to banning him for life, Silver fined Sterling $2.5 million and blocked him from any association with the team for life. Silver added that he would urge other owners to force a sale of the team.
Silver said the lifetime ban would stand regardless of whether Sterling was ultimately forced to sell the team he's owned for 33 years. The commissioner said the NBA constitution allowed owners to eject Sterling if three-quarters of the owners voted in favor of such a move, and that he would commence the process of expulsion immediately.
“I fully expect to get the support I need from the other NBA owners to remove him,” Silver said.
The Clippers are scheduled to play the Warriors at 7:30 p.m. PDT.
Times staff writer Ben Bolch contributed to this report.
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