May 05, 2014

    NBA seeks CEO to put Clippers on an even keel


    WITH Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling banned for life from National Basketball Association activities, the league said on Saturday it would name a chief executive to oversee the club.

    Sterling was banned for life and fined US$2.5 million (S$3.1 million) by NBA commissioner Adam Silver on Tuesday, after recordings of racist comments by the 80-year-old real estate tycoon were made public.

    The league is also pursuing efforts to force him to sell the club.

    "The best way to ensure the stability of the team during this difficult situation is to move quickly and install a CEO to oversee the Clippers organisation," NBA executive vice-president of communications Mike Bass said in a statement.

    "The process of identifying that individual is under way."

    Bass said the league will consult the team's management in naming the person who will supervise the club's activities.

    The Clippers were swept up in a firestorm last week, after a recording of billionaire Sterling telling his girlfriend that he did not want her bringing black people to Clippers games was made public.

    The remarks had a profound effect in the NBA - a league in which the majority of players are black - and beyond, in a country that still grapples with issues of race.

    NBA owners have already started the process of forcing Sterling to sell, which takes a 75 per cent vote of the other 29 owners.

    The process could push Sterling to sell the team he bought in 1981 for US$12 million, which is now valued at almost US$600 million. However, it could also prompt him to launch a bitter legal fight to keep the team.