NEW YORK (AP) -- NBA Commissioner Adam Silver delivered the swiftest, strongest penalty he could, then called on NBA owners to force Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling to sell the team for making racist comments that hurt the league.
Almost unanimously, owners supported the commissioner Tuesday as he handed down one of the harshest penalties in the history of U.S. sports.
''We stand together in condemning Mr. Sterling's views. They simply have no place in the NBA,'' Silver said at a news conference.
Sterling, 80, is banned for life from any association with the league or the Clippers, and was fined $2.5 million - the maximum allowable under the NBA constitution. If three-fourths of the other 29 owners agree to Silver's recommendation, Sterling will be forced to sell the team he has owned since 1981.
A message left seeking comment at Sterling's business office hadn't been returned Tuesday afternoon. Team spokesman Seth Burton said in an email that the Clippers had no plans to issue a statement from Sterling on Tuesday, but the franchise released a statement ''wholeheartedly'' supporting Silver's decision.
MIAMI (AP) - A majority of NBA ownership groups reached Tuesday by The Associated Press said they will vote to force embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling to sell his club.
The teams were then contacted by The Associated Press on the specific question of whether Sterling should be forced to sell, and 16 ownership groups said yes, while another eight declined to reveal their stance.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - V. Stiviano, the woman whom Donald Sterling was talking to when he made racist remarks, is ''very saddened'' by his lifetime NBA ban, and she didn't release the recording of their conversation, her lawyer said.
Stiviano ''never wanted any harm to Donald,'' Siamak Nehoray of Calabasas told the Los Angeles Times.
Somebody released it ''for money,'' but it wasn't Stiviano, the attorney said.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Throw Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s wallet into the ring as a prospective owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Mayweather said he's interested in putting together a group - with himself as a majority owner - to buy the Clippers if the team is put up for sale.
''Do we want to buy the Clippers? Yes we do,'' Mayweather said. ''I'm very, very interested in buying the Clippers.''
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A former assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors reportedly recorded conversations of coaches and players without their knowledge before being fired by the team earlier this month.
ESPN, citing anonymous sources, reported that Darren Erman secretly recorded coaches' meetings, conversations between coaches and players, and informal discussions. It's unclear what Erman did with the alleged recordings.
Golden State fired Erman on April 5 for what the team called a ''violation of company policy.''
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Pacers star Paul George had his platinum All-Star ring valued at $15,000 stolen from his home Monday night during Indiana's 107-97 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
The Indianapolis police report said there was no forced entry in the burglary, estimating the total value of items taken at nearly $16,000. The ring from the 2014 game included multiple diamonds. Also taken was a watch valued at $700.
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) - The Florida Panthers have parted ways with interim coach Peter Horachek.
Panthers general manager Dale Tallon made the announcement, saying the dismissal was effective immediately. Horachek replaced Kevin Dineen as Panthers' coach on Nov. 8, and Florida went 26-36-4 under him.
NEW YORK (AP) - The Los Angeles Kings' Dustin Brown, Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf and Chicago's Jonathan Toews are finalists for the Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award.
HOUSTON (AP) - Washington outfielder Bryce Harper had surgery on his injured left thumb and will be out for an extended period of time.
Manager Matt Williams would not commit to a time frame, but said ''that time frame is out there'' after reports Monday that he would be out until at least July.
NEW YORK (AP) - Robinson Cano drew loud boos in his first at-bat at Yankee Stadium since signing a $240 million contract with the Seattle Mariners last winter.
Cano had a big smile when he came to bat in the first inning and gave a wink to New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia.
The sparse crowd on a dreary evening responded with a Bronx cheer.
The five-time All-Star struck out swinging and the fans mocked him with cheers.
NEW YORK (AP) - Former star pitcher Roger Clemens and his onetime strength coach came face-to-face in a bid to settle their long-running legal dispute, but they emerged from a closed-door meeting without a deal.
A judge had summoned Clemens and Brian McNamee to federal court in Brooklyn for settlement talks aimed at heading off a trial in the defamation case. McNamee's lawyer emerged saying an agreement wasn't likely.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - The grandson of Babe Ruth is auctioning off the watch given to the baseball legend in his last appearance at Yankee Stadium in 1948, a few months before he died of cancer.
Tom Stevens was given the watch by his grandmother - Ruth's wife, Claire - when he graduated from college in 1974, and has kept it in a safe deposit box ever since.
MUNICH (AP) - Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo scored two goals apiece, and Real Madrid advanced to the Champions League final by beating defending champion Bayern Munich 4-0.
Madrid completed a 5-0 total goals victory and will now play Chelsea or Atletico Madrid in the May 24 final in Lisbon.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - NASCAR punished Marcos Ambrose and Casey Mears for their post-race altercation in the garage at Richmond International Raceway that led to Ambrose punching Mears in the face.
Ambrose was fined $25,000 and placed on probation through May 28. Mears was fined $15,000 and received the same probation.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Kurt Busch felt comfortable in his new IndyCar - despite dealing with some tricky winds in Indianapolis.
He's the fourth driver to try to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on the same day. Both races are scheduled for May 25.
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) - Notah Begay suffered a heart attack last week in Dallas and is expected to make a full recovery, Golf Channel said.
Begay, a 41-year-old analyst for Golf Channel and NBC Sports, was taken Thursday to Methodist Hospital in Dallas where a stent was inserted to unblock his right coronary artery. Begay, a Navajo from New Mexico, has a history of heart disease in the family.
Golf Channel said Begay will be off the air indefinitely while he recovers.
NEW YORK (AP) - ''Jeopardy!'' is starting a sports version of the popular game show, with Dan Patrick taking the Alex Trebek role as host.
Sony Pictures that ''Sports Jeopardy!'' will begin this fall on Crackle, a Sony-owned digital service available on mobile devices and services such as PlayStation, Xbox, Apple TV and Roku.
Serena Williams' father says he ''would never go back'' to Indian Wells, Calif., the site of a tournament his daughter has skipped since 2001, when they were booed - and subjected to racial epithets, according to his new book.
Richard Williams says in a telephone interview it's up to Serena whether to play there again.
His book, ''Black and White: The Way I See It,'' comes out May 6. It details how Indian Wells, in his words, ''disgraced America.''
MUNICH (AP) - Two-time former champion Philipp Kohlschreiber was knocked out in the first round of the BMW Open after losing 7-5, 2-6, 6-4 to Denis Istomin.
LONDON (AP) - Total prize money for this year's Wimbledon tournament will reach 25 million pounds ($42 million), an increase of 10.8 percent that will mostly favor the early-round losers.
The All England Club said that the men's and women's singles champions will each receive 1.76 million pounds ($2.9 million), a 10 percent increase on last year's top prize won by Andy Murray and Marion Bartoli.
TRACK AND FIELD
MOSCOW (AP) - Three-time Chicago Marathon champion Lilya Shobukhova was banned for two years for blood doping and faces demands to repay millions of dollars in winnings.
The Russian athletics federation said it banned Shobukhova until next January for abnormal biological passport values and stripped her results from Oct. 9, 2009. Shobukhova won three times in Chicago and once in London in that time, also collecting $1 million in prize money as a two-time leader of the World Marathon Majors rankings.