Silver: No guarantee on D. Sterling

ByEthan Sherwood Strauss ESPN logo
Wednesday, July 16, 2014

LAS VEGAS -- NBA commissioner Adam Silver addressed media after the NBA's Board of Governors meeting with a variety of information on how the NBA product might improve.

What he couldn't promise, though, was the extrication of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who remains in a legal dispute with the league over his contested ownership of the team, before the beginning of the 2014-15 season.

"I can't say with certainty because it's in the hands of the probate court right now, and Donald is in the process of suing us for lots of money and we're defending ourselves against those lawsuits," Silver said.

While Silver continues to profess that the NBA will prevail in either getting Sterling to sell the Clippers or wresting control of the team from him via the legal system, the commissioner could not give ironclad assurances.

"It's difficult to say anything with certainty in a situation like this," Silver said. "I can say with certainty that we are doing everything in our power to move Donald out as an owner in the NBA."

The commissioner announced that the NBA has yet to approve ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, whose $2 billion bid on the team was accepted on May 30 by Shelly Sterling in a written agreement.

In addition to the update on the Clippers situation, Silver spoke of several changes and proposals. He announced that the NBA's replay review system will be aided by a replay center in Secaucus, New Jersey. Silver also floated the idea of a televised NBA awards show, and a midseason tournament.

Silver also addressed his thoughts on LeBron James' decision to leave the Miami Heat for the Cleveland Cavaliers, a decision he learned of on Twitter, "when virtually everyone else learned about it." Silver said he was moved by James' statement that appeared in Sports Illustrated.

"I've gotten to know LeBron pretty well over the years," Silver said. "From that standpoint, I really am more like a fan. This seemed to be a great moment for the league. And again, I understand it's Miami's loss, but that's always going to be an issue when you have such a transcendent player like LeBron."

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