(Reuters) - LeBron James, the face of the National Basketball Association, on Wednesday urged league owners to follow through on the lifetime ban imposed on Donald Sterling by forcing him to sell the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Miami Heat forward and two-time reigning Most Valuable Player praised NBA Commissioner Adam Silver's decision to ban Sterling on Tuesday along with a $2.5 million fine in response to racist remarks made by the owner.
Silver also vowed to force Sterling, the NBA's longest-tenured owner, to sell the team, but he must win votes from three-quarters of the league owners to achieve that.
"It's a monumental day and it's going to be remembered in NBA history," James told reporters about Silver's ruling following a team practice.
"But the job is still not done. It's a win, but we still need the owners to do their part."
No timetable is yet in place, with the NBA's 10-member owners' advisory and finance committee meeting on Thursday to go over the next steps in the process.
"We still have to wait on the owners' decision, which I believe will be in favor of what we all believe in," said James.
Every NBA team issued a statement on Tuesday in support of Silver's ruling, while the owners of the Sacramento Kings and Minnesota Timberwolves both expressed confidence there would be sufficient votes to force Sterling to sell.
"We run a color blind league and this should not be tolerated," Kings owner Vivek Ranadive told ESPN Radio on Wednesday. "I would be surprised if this was not a unanimous vote."
James, one of several players who had suggested there was a chance of a players boycott during the current playoffs if Sterling was not suitably punished, was preparing for Miami's second-round series versus either Toronto or Brooklyn.
(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue)
- Sports & Recreation
- Donald Sterling
- LeBron James
- Miami Heat
- Los Angeles Clippers