May 28, 2014 in Sports

Donald Sterling responds to NBA, June 3 hearing still on

 
Lakers interview Rambis

 The Los Angeles Lakers interviewed another celebrated player from their past, meeting with Kurt Rambis recently about their coaching vacancy.

 Rambis, 56, was an assistant last season under Mike D’Antoni, who resigned four weeks ago.

 The Lakers have now interviewed Rambis and fellow “Showtime” team member Byron Scott. They have also met with Mike Dunleavy and plan to interview Alvin Gentry today and Lionel Hollins on Thursday. They are also curious to see if Derek Fisher might be a good fit as a coach but don’t plan on talking with him until Oklahoma City’s playoff run ends.

– L.A. Times

NEW YORK – Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling responded to the NBA’s attempt to oust him on Tuesday, arguing that there is no basis for stripping him of his team because his racist statements were illegally recorded “during an inflamed lovers’ quarrel in which he was clearly distraught.”

According to the response, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, Sterling says V. Stiviano recorded him without his knowledge and thus the recording was illegal under California law. He also said he could not have “willfully” damaged the league because he did not know it would be made public.

“A jealous rant to a lover never intended to be published cannot offend the NBA rules,” Sterling said in the document.

Meanwhile, the attorney for Shelly Sterling confirmed that Donald Sterling has given her written permission to sell the team. The Clippers are seeking binding bids before next Tuesday – the day NBA owners are scheduled to meet in New York and vote on whether to strip Sterling of the team.

The league said that if three-quarters of the 30 owners voted to sustain the charge, “the Sterlings’ interests in the Clippers will be terminated and the team will be sold.”

The NBA charged Donald Sterling with damaging the league and its merchandising partners, and the league’s constitution gave him until the end of Tuesday to respond. The NBA has scheduled a call of its executive committee for noon PDT today.

Shelly Sterling submitted her own separate response to the NBA’s charges Tuesday that included a “vigorous response to the attempt by the NBA to blame her for doing nothing wrong.”

In his response, Donald Sterling says that next week’s hearing cannot be fair because the owners have already made up their minds, quoting 10 teams who commented on Twitter or elsewhere that they supported the seizure of the team. An AP survey on the day commissioner Adam Silver announced Sterling’s lifetime ban found that half of the teams supported it and no owner was against it.

“These procedings will be a spectacle meant to mollify the popular opinion, not a fair and impartial hearing,” the response states.

The response also notes the disparity between his lifetime ban and $2.5 million fine and previous NBA punishments, including the $100,000 fine levied on Kobe Bryant when he was caught referring to a referee by a homosexual slur, and the 72-game suspension of Ron Artest for punching a fan.

The NBA said Sterling is in violation because his racist comments were harmful to the league and its business partners. Sterling’s response argues that because his comments came in the privacy of his girlfriend’s living room he cannot be considered “taking a position” that damaged the NBA.

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