CLEVELAND - Perhaps no one in Northeast Ohio was as anxious to see how NBA Commissioner Adam Silver would handle the L.A. Clippers controversy as the mayor of Warrensville Heights.
Mayor Brad Sellers is a former NBA player who has friends who played for the Clippers. He said it's no secret in NBA circles that Clippers owner Donald Sterling had what he calls "very extreme views" and he said it needed to be dealt with.
"I think this is a defining moment for the NBA to really show that they're going to walk the walk and not just talk the talk," Sellers said.
At a news conference Tuesday, Commissioner Silver announced that he's banning Sterling for life, fining him $2.5 million and going to the NBA Board of Governors to get them to force Sterling to sell the Clippers team.
Sterling's views "have no place in the NBA," Silver said.
He said Sterling has admitted he's the man heard on an audio recording telling a female companion that she shouldn't "broadcast" the fact that she's "associating with black people" or bring them to games.
Sellers called the timing unfortunate for the players.
"It's stressful enough during this time of year with playoffs," he said, "and to be now wrapped or embroiled in a mix that you had no part in bringing to fruition is a major distraction and the timing is just unfortunate"