MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Heat players and others around the NBA are reacting to the lifetime ban handed down to Clippers owner Donald Sterling on Tuesday.
Lebron James, who doesn’t usually tweet anything during the NBA playoffs tweeted, “Commissioner Silver, thank you for protecting our beautiful and powerful league!! Great leader!! #BiggerThanBasketball #StriveForGreatness”
Dwyane Wade also tweeted: “Commissioner Silver….STRONG… way to take charge and protect our great league.”
Heat owner Micky Arison reacted on his twitter account, “Great job Adam. The @NBA is in good hands. You have my full support.”
The statement from the Clippers read: “We wholeheartedly support and embrace the decision by … Adam Silver today. Now the healing process begins.”
Hall of Famer Magic Johnson, who was mentioned by Sterling in the audio tapes where Sterling made the racist comments, sent out a few tweets: “Commissioner Silver showed great leadership in banning LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life.”
“Former and current NBA players are very happy and satisfied with Commissioner Silver’s ruling.”
“Now the Clippers players and fans can concentrate on the game tonight against the Warriors with Commissioner Silver’s decision.”
Several owners immediately chimed in with support of the decision including Mavericks owner Mark Cuban who said: “I agree 100% with Commissioner Silvers findings and the actions taken against Donald Sterling.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver banned the Clippers owner for life Tuesday for making racist comments in a recorded conversation, the first step toward forcing a sale of the club and permanently removing Sterling from the league.
Silver also fined Sterling $2.5 million, and again expressed outrage.
“I fully expect to get the support I need from the other NBA owners to remove him,” Silver said.
Sterling, the league’s longest-tenured owner and someone with an estimated net worth of about $2 billion, did not offer any immediate comment.
The penalties, which were announced only three days after the scandal broke, are the harshest ever issued by the league and among the stiffest punishments ever given to an owner in professional sports.
Silver said a league investigation found that Sterling was in fact the person on the audiotapes that were released over the weekend and immediately sent shock waves throughout the game. “We stand together in condemning Mr. Sterling’s views,” Silver said. “They simply have no place in the NBA.” Sterling acknowledged he was the man on the tape, Silver said.
Sterling still owns the team, but going forward he is immediately barred from attending any NBA games or practices, being present at any Clippers office or facility, participating in any business or player personnel decisions involving the team, or being part of any league business.
It’s unclear how Sterling will respond.
The fine will be donated to organizations dedicated to anti-discrimination and tolerance efforts that will be jointly selected by the NBA and the Players Association, Silver said.
After the announcement, the Clippers’ website had a simple message: “We are one,” it read.