Adam Silver press conference was a tour de force in leadership

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Today was the biggest day in Adam Silver's fledgling career as NBA commissioner and the head of one of the biggest sporting organizations in the world dealt with it with defiant brilliance.

As Silver stood on the platform delivering the crushing, unrelenting blows to disgraced Clippers owner Donald Sterling, the recently appointed commissioner looked every bit the man you would want in a crisis.

Even if he goes on to replicate his predecessor in remaining in the job for the next thirty years, the events of the past four days are likely to be the most intense and decisive he will face.

And as the rest of the world was, quite rightly, calling for the stocks for Donald Sterling as more and more audio emerged of the longtime Clippers owner speaking racist drivel, Silver had the important job of sifting through the league ramifications and legal jargon to locate and implement a suitable punishment.

And after what will undoubtedly have been a hectic couple of days, the 52-year-old came up with the appropriate sanction as he threw the book at Sterling with a lifetime ban and NBA maximum $2.5 million fine.

But reading the cold facts of the punishment do not do justice to the way Silver handled the situation.

From the outset of his LA press conference Tuesday he spoke of his own personal disgust regarding the comments, singling out his disappointment that one of the most accepting leagues in the world had been tarnished under his watch and urging NBA owners to throw to the curb Donald Sterling.

And unlike so many public figures when speaking in the modern era, you could see that every word he spoke Adam Silver meant.

He took time to thank players, ex-players, and legal bodies for their cooperation and insight as well as personally addressing the millions of NBA fans across the world who will undoubtedly have had questions for the commissioner following recent events.

Of course he would have hoped when he took on the role as the head of the NBA from David Stern that when his exemplary leadership skills were required it would have been in more pleasing circumstances, but sometimes things don't work out as you would like.

But, in exacting appropriate punishment with dignity and most of all defiance in the face of adversity, Adam Silver stood up and represented the National Basketball Association with true class.

Let's just hope the owners of the 30 NBA teams he oversees follow suit.

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