NEW YORK -- 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. Nicolas Hague Jersey . 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. Sterlings 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 Silvers recommendation, Sterling will be forced to sell the team he has owned since 1981. A message left seeking comment at Sterlings business office hadnt 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. Players and others cheered Silvers quick action, with union officials saying that if the leagues punishment hadnt included a mandate for Sterling to sell the team, players were considering boycotting playoff games, including Tuesdays Golden State Warriors-Clippers matchup, the teams first home game since the scandal erupted. "We wanted to be a part of this decision, and we wanted Adam Silver to know where we stood. And we were very clear that anything other than Sterling selling his team was not going to be enough for us," said Roger Mason Jr., the first vice-president of the players union. Chris Paul, the Clippers All-Star point guard and the president of the players union, issued a brief statement before leading Los Angeles against the Warriors in Game 5 of their tied playoff series. "In response to todays ruling by the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver, my teammates and I are in agreement with his decision," Paul said. "We appreciate the strong leadership from Commissioner Silver and he has our full support." Sterlings comments -- which were recorded by his girlfriend and released by TMZ on Saturday -- harmed the league, Silver said. Sponsors were threatening to abandon the NBA, and criticism was coming from fans on social media and even the White House. Sterling criticized V. Stiviano -- purportedly the female voice on the recording -- for posting pictures of herself with black athletes Magic Johnson and Matt Kemp. "It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that youre associating with black people. Do you have to?" Sterling asks the woman on the recording. "Sentiments of this kind are contrary to the principles of inclusion and respect that form the foundation of our diverse, multicultural and multiethnic league," Silver said. The NBAs longest-tenured owner keeps his team for now -- and Silver said he didnt know if Sterling would fight to do so permanently. But he cant attend games or practices, cant be involved in any personnel decisions or participate in board of governors meetings. Just three days after the scandal broke, and hours before the Clippers hosted their biggest game of the season, Silver apologized to some of the leagues black pioneers while meting out a punishment he believed would satisfy outraged players and fans. Sterlings Clippers have been one of the most incompetent franchises in pro sports, and nearly all of their previous seasons would have been finished by now. But after the most successful two-year stretch in Clippers history, the current team is a title contender led by Doc Rivers, a black coach whom Sterling brought in from Boston and paid $7 million a year. "(Silver) made the decision that really was the right one that had to be made," Rivers said before the Clippers game. "I dont think this is something that we rejoice in or anything like that. I told the players about the decision, and I think they were just happy there was a resolution and that its over, at least the start of it. I think were all in a better place because of this." Silver said the ban applied only to Sterling, and there had been no discussions about whether he could sell to a family member. Many owners supported Silver, and none of them publicly defended Sterling. "We applaud the firm punishment handed out today by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and appreciate the swiftness with which the NBA conducted its investigation," Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob said in a statement. The fine will be donated to organizations dedicated to anti-discrimination and tolerance efforts, Silver said. Sterling, with an estimated net worth of about $2 billion, did not comment, though Silver said he did not apologize for his remarks. Silver said Sterling confirmed that he was the person on the recording. Silver hasnt even been on the job three months and already had to face a crisis that threatened the league not only financially -- with several companies ending or suspending their sponsorships of the Clippers -- but more importantly, socially. The NBA survived the Indiana Pacers brawl with Detroit Pistons fans, and referee Tim Donaghy betting on games he officiated. But this brought a different level of outrage, particularly because the league could have done something sooner about Sterling, who has faced federal charges of civil rights violations and racial discrimination in his business dealings. "This has all happened in three days, and so I am hopeful there will be no long-term damage to the league and to the Clippers organization," Silver said. "But as I said earlier, Im outraged so I certainly understand other peoples outrage." After the announcement, the Clippers website had a simple message: "We are one." "We wholeheartedly support and embrace the decision by the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver today. Now the healing process begins," the Clippers added in a statement. Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Toronto Raptors, issued a statement Tuesday afternoon. "As a proud member of the National Basketball Association, we stand strongly in our belief that the comments attributed to Mr. Sterling have no place in our society or sport. Our organization will always work to contribute to a culture of diversity and acceptance in this league and fully support the actions taken today. We thank commissioner Adam Silver, and all of the NBA players, for their leadership on this important issue." Rivers cancelled practice Monday and declined a meeting request from Sterling. He wouldnt address whether he would return next season if Sterling were still in control, a stance reaffirmed by the coach before Game 5 of the Clippers playoff series with Golden State. That might not be an issue if the owners vote to oust the owner. Sterling is estranged from his wife and had been dating Stiviano, 31. In court documents, Stiviano describes him as a man "with a big toothy grin brandishing his sexual prowess in the faces of the Paparazzi and caring less what anyone else thought, the least of which, his own wife." Silver said when he first heard the audio, he hoped it had been altered or was fake, but thought it was Sterling. And it doesnt matter if Sterling didnt realize he was being recorded, Silver said. "Whether or not these remarks were initially shared in private, theyre now public, and they represent his views." James Neal Jersey .com) - Colorado may be ahead of the Vancouver Canucks in the Western Conference standings, but they are a club that the Avalanche may want to avoid in the playoffs. Tomas Nosek Jersey . Seriously. Seven years of losing has brought many different faces, players and management, to the annual pre-season get-to-know-the-team round up.WINNIPEG -- Blake Wheeler says his Winnipeg Jets are racing for a Western Conference playoff spot. Winnipeg got out of the post-Olympic starting blocks quickly with a 3-2 shootout win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night as Wheeler scored his 23rd goal of the season. "A vast percentage of the league is going to be pretty rested after a 2 1/2-week break," said Wheeler, who played for the United States in Sochi, but saw limited minutes as the Americans 13th forward. "I think its an all-out sprint. Theres no time to be tired." Wheeler was joined on the score sheet by Bryan Little. Olli Jokinen put away the shootout winner in the fourth round for Winnipeg (29-26-6). Devin Setoguchi also beat Coyotes goalie Mike Smith in the shootout, while Antoine Vermette was the only Coyote to solve Ondrej Pavelec. Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Martin Hanzal scored in regulation for Phoenix (27-21-11) in the first game for both teams after a 19-day break for the Winter Olympics. The Jets continued their winning ways under new head coach Paul Maurice, improving to 10-3-1 since he replaced the fired Claude Noel. Despite some less-than-crisp play, the coach said he was pleasantly surprised by how well his team played after such a long layoff. "It was tough at times, but just from the stuff I watched the last two days (around the league), it was a better game than I thought I was going to see," Maurice said. Winnipeg pulled within one point of the Coyotes as both teams chase a wild-card playoff spot, although Phoenix has two games in hand. Dallas sits in the final spot with 66 points, one better than Phoenix and Vancouver, and two ahead of Winnipeg. Pavelec made 34 saves for the Jets, with two of his toughest stops coming in overtime. "It wasnt an easy game for both teams. It was the first game back and we didnt know what to expect a little bit," said Pavelec, who stopped Mike Ribeiro to end the shootout. Smith stopped 27 shots for the visitors, including a pair of scoring chances in the final seconds of regulation. "For the most part I felt not too bad," said Smith, whho was a member of Canadas gold medal-winning team in Sochi but didnt see any playing time. Custom Vegas Golden Knights Jerseys. "But like I said, it doesnt matter how you feel, you need to come out on the better side of things." Hanzal put away a rebound to tie the game at 2-2 with Jets centre Jim Slater in the penalty box 6:40 into the third period. Winnipeg took advantage of a giveaway by Coyotes defenceman Zbynek Michalek to take the lead late in the second period. With Ekman-Larsson in the penalty box, Little intercepted Michaleks pass in the low slot and beat Smiths glove hand to make it 2-1. The teams wasted no time reminding fans of one of the differences between international hockey and the NHL game. Winnipegs Zach Bogosian and Phoenixs Rob Klinkhammer dropped the gloves just 78 seconds into the game after Klinkhammer shoved Bogosians defence partner Toby Enstrom into the boards. The Coyotes opened the scoring with an Ekman-Larsson wrist shot from the high slot that went in off the post 12:17 into the first period. It took the Jets less than three minutes to respond, as Wheelers shot from the corner hit Coyotes defenceman Michael Stone in the leg and bounced into the net. Smith was distracted earlier in the sequence by Winnipeg forward Dustin Byfuglien, and the Coyotes argued for an interference call. Smith and Coyotes coach Dave Tippett both said they disagreed with the non-call in their post-game comments. "Personally, I think if theres incidental contact in the net and then the puck goes in after, it shouldve been not a penalty, but it shouldnt have been allowed," Smith said. Notes: Jocelyne Larocque of Ste. Anne, Man., a defenceman for Canadas Olympic gold medal-winning womens hockey team, performed the ceremonial puck drop. a The Jets welcomed back Slater, who missed 52 games with a sports hernia, and left-winger Evander Kane, who sat out the last six games before the Olympic break with a hand injury. a The Jets head to Nashville for a one-game road trip on Saturday, while the Coyotes play in Denver Friday night before heading home. a The teams have one remaining meeting, April 1 in Arizona. ' ' '
dam Silver delivered the swiftest
dam Silver delivered the swiftest