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article imageBarred Clippers owner gets no support from colleagues so far

By Nathan Salant     Apr 29, 2014 in Sports
New York - None of his fellow National Baskeball Association team owners were willing to support Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling if the league's commissioner tries to force him to give up his team.
Sixteen of 24 teams contacted by the Associated Press said Tuesday that they would vote to force Sterling to sell the Clippers, following Commissioner Adam Silver's earlier announcement that he would put that question all 30 team owners and impose a $2.5 million fine.
The other eight teams contacted did not reveal their positions and most teams asked to remain anonymous, the AP said.
"The Commissioner was correct to ban Mr. Sterling from all official NBA business, to levy the stiffest allowable fine, and we will support his recommendation to press for Mr. Sterling to relinquish his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers franchise," said Chicago Bulls' chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and president Michael Reinsdorf in a written statement.
"We believe Commissioner Silver's decision reflects the best interests of the NBA and public civility," the top Bulls executives said, the AP reported.
Sterling, who bought the Clippers in 1981 and is the league's longest current franchise owner, is accused of making derogatory racial comments on a recording posted to the celebrity website TMZ.com.
Silver said the league had investigated whether Sterling indeed made the comments and concluded he had.
But Sterling told Fox News on Tuesday that he had no intention of selling the club, the AP said.
That means that 23 of the 30 clubs would have to vote in favor to force a sale under NBA bylaws, Reuters said.
"I fully expect to get the support I need from the other NBA owners to remove him," Silver said.
Any such vote would also need the backing of the NBA's Board of Governors, the AP said.
"We are whole-heartedly behind Adam's recommendation and plan to vote accordingly," Orlando Magic chairman Dan DeVos said.
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