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NBA roundup: Sterling expected to take legal action

The SportsXchange

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling plans to sue the NBA if the owners vote to force him to sell the team, the New York Daily News reported Friday.

An NBA executive told the Daily News, "He is not going to sell the team."

The NBA banned Sterling for life and fined him $2.5 million earlier this week for making racist comments caught on an audio recording. If Sterling sues to hold on to the team, it is believed that a legal battle could take several years to settle.

Sterling made his first public comments in an interview with Los Angeles lifestyle magazine DuJour, expressing regret in how he handled V. Stiviano, the girlfriend with whom he was speaking with the recording was made.

"I wish I had just paid her off," Sterling told the magazine.

---Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph received a one-game suspension without pay after punching Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams in the jaw during Thursday night's game, but Indiana Pacers forward Paul George avoided a similar penalty during the first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks.

NBA president of basketball operations Rod Thorn announced Friday that Randolph will be forced to sit out Game 7 on Saturday against the Thunder in Oklahoma City. The incident took place with 6:42 left in the Thunder's 104-84 win over Memphis.

There were questions about whether George and teammate Rasual Butler would be suspended for Game 7 against the Hawks after they left the bench area during an altercation during Thursday night's Eastern Conference game against Atlanta. The two apparently avoided punishment because they did not rush off the bench to join the fray.

---Steve Kerr, who is favored to be the next coach of the New York Knicks, is not even on the Los Angeles Lakers' list of candidates, the New York Post reported Friday.

According to the report, the Lakers believe Kerr is too far along in the Knicks' hiring process. Knicks president Phil Jackson is engaged to Lakers president Jeanie Buss. The Wall Street Journal reported that Jackson informed Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony during a dinner meeting earlier this week that he expects to hire Kerr.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the Lakers have plenty of candidates, including George Karl, Jeff Van Gundy, Byron Scott, Kurt Rambis, Kevin Ollie and John Calipari (who has since eliminated himself as a candidate). The Lakers also reportedly want to seek permission to speak with Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau.

The Lakers are in no hurry to hire a new coach to replace Mike D'Antoni, according to the Associated Press.

---Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob told Yahoo Sports on Thursday night that he and his staff have not had conversations about coach Mark Jackson's job security.

The San Jose Mercury News has reported that "fissures" exist between Jackson and the front office, and that contract extension talks that reportedly took place after last season were cut off.

One of several issues the Warriors have with Jackson is that he refuses to keep at least a partial residence near the team in the Bay Area. Instead, he makes his home in southern California. According to the Mercury News, Lacob's request that Jackson live in the Bay Area at least part of the time was dropped before last year's contract discussions started.

Jackson is under contract for one more season and the team reportedly has made no final decision on Jackson's status.

---The Orlando Magic exercised their fourth-year team option and extended the contracts of general manager Rob Hennigan and coach Jacque Vaughn through the 2015-16 season, the team announced Friday.

The Magic finished the regular season 23-59 and 13th in the Eastern Conference.

---The NBA fined Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd $25,000 on Friday for publicly criticizing the officiating.

Kidd made his comments during a conference call with the media one day after the Nets lost to the Toronto Raptors 115-113 in Game 5 of their first-round playoffs series on Wednesday.
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