NBA players threatened boycott over Sterling comments

Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry said his team planned a dramatic walk-off against...

Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry said his team planned a dramatic walk-off against the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 5 Tuesday to protest owner Donald Sterling. (USA Today)

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, Last Updated: 12:24 AM ET

NBA players had threatened to boycott the league if swift action wasn’t taken against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for racist comments, the Players Association said Tuesday.

“We had a call with the commissioner (Monday night), with the executive committee representatives (of the board of governors), and with players across the league, and the commissioner asked us what our views were,” NBPA vice-president Roger Mason told reporters at a press conference Tuesday. “We made it clear the players were ready to boycott.”

Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry confirmed he and his teammates were ready to walk off the court against the Clippers at the start of Game 5 Tuesday night.

Curry said they had planned to go through pre-game warmups and attend the singing of the national anthem before leaving the court at the first jump ball.

“It would have been our only chance to make a statement in front of the biggest audience that we weren’t going to accept anything but the maximum punishment,” Curry told the San Jose Mercury News. “We would deal with the consequences later but we were not going to play.”

The plan was hatched by Curry, David Lee, Jermaine O’Neal and Draymond Green. They had also intended to contact Clippers players about the plan and hoped their opponents would join them.

All of that was avoided earlier in the day, however, when NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling for life, fined him the maximum penalty of $2.5 million and said he will ask the board of governors to force Sterling to sell the team.

“We’re happy with the decision but not content yet,” Mason said. “We want immediate action, we want a timetable from the owners when this vote (to force a sale of the Clippers) is going to happen. We feel confident that this is something that can be handled quickly.”

Three playoff games were on Tuesday night’s schedule, including the Warriors-Clippers clash.

Sterling is the longest-tenured owner in the NBA. He is barred from his role as a manager and as one of the league’s governors. His removal as an owner will require approval from 75% of current owners.

“I fully expect to get the support I need from the other NBA owners to remove him,” Silver said.


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