"There is no room for Donald Sterling in our league. There's just no room for him." Those were LeBron James' words pre-game on Saturday night in regard to the controversial remarks allegedly made by Clippers owner, Donald Sterling.
LeBron was very on point in his words, and the team even held a private meeting just before taking the floor to address the Sterling comments. TMZ Sports released a 9 minute audio conversation which seems like Sterling, and he made some controversial comments, none more than this:
Don't bring black people to my games, including Magic Johnson.
LeBron also said Adam Silver should do something before this gets out of hand. Silver plans to address the topic later tonight. James added, "I can only imagine if a player came out and said that." And he's right, he would be punished severely, and Sterling should as well.
LeBron said, "It's very disrespectful and it's very appalling." And it seems that is the reaction all over the league. Probably the most startling quote from LeBron was that he would waver playing a game tonight if that was made by his management. Which is making a strong, strong point.
The league should take quick action, that should be more than a suspension (how do you suspend an owner?). Draft picks, cap space, whatever it is, this needs to be corrected. Dwyane Wade says he isn't focused on Sterling situation. Says he feels for Clippers players that they have to deal with the questions now.
Here's the complete conversation with the media:
What are your thoughts on Donald Sterling's comments?
"If the reports are true, it's unacceptable. It's unacceptable in our league. It doesn't matter if you're white, black, Hispanic, whatever, all across the races. It's unacceptable and as a commissioner in our league, they have to make a stand, and they have to be very aggressive with it. I don't know what it's going to be, but you just can't have that in our league. We're the model citizens of all sports around the world and because we're the most recognizable, I mean, it figures. You see us all the time, you see our logos, you see our players, and for an owner to come out and say the things that he said, it's very disrespectful, it's very appalling and one of my best friends and dear friends plays on his team in Chris Paul and I haven't had an opportunity to talk to him but I can only imagine what's going through his head."
How difficult would it be to play with that hanging over...
"I don't know. I kind of waivered back and forth whether I would actually sit out. If our owner would come out and say the things that he said, I would really have to sit down with my teammates, talk to my family because at the end of the day, our family, and our teammates are way more important than that. Basketball is huge, obviously the playoffs have been unbelievable, and I hate the fact that something like this has to come out when the playoffs have been unbelievable and the game of basketball continues to grow, but there is no room for Donald Sterling in our league. There is no room for him."
Does it make you angry?
"I'm not angry. Just disappointed more than anything. There is only 30 owners and 400-plus of us. For a player, I just think...I put my...I can only imagine if a player came out and said something of that stature what would happen to us as players. So, I believe in Adam [Silver], I believe in the NBA and they have to do something and do something very fast and quickly before this really gets out of hand. Like I said, there is no room for Donald Sterling in our league, man. There it is."
This is a strong subject, but tell us what you think. Most specifically, was LeBron in line with what he said?