Following the acrid and offensive comments of (soon-to- be former) Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, the NBA was on the brink of major protest; a protest which went well beyond turning their warm-up jerseys inside-out (something the Clippers did before Game 4, and the Miami Heat soon followed suit before their Game 4 as well).
Before Adam Silver's announcement of his decision on the league mandated punishment, the players for the Clippers and their playoff rivals - the Golden State Warriors - had agreed to take drastic action if swift and severe justice was not brought down on Sterling. So drastic that they had agreed to simply not play the game.
Despite a sellout crowd and cameras broadcasting across the country (and overseas), these two teams had mutually conspired to take a seat if Sterling wasn't shown the door. It doesn't get much bolder than that. Luckily for the Clippers, Warriors, and thousands of fans who spent their hard earned hundreds to cheer on their team, that boycott never happened thanks to newly minted NBA Commissioner AdamSilver.
Silver, who took over the position only four months ago, ending David Stern's record-setting
30-year-tenure, was faced with his first real challenge as Commissioner.
It was make or break time for the newly minted head of the NBA and Silver came out shining. In a move which could have prevented the league from spiraling into a dark, dark era, Silver came down on Sterling with a draconian punishment - 2.5 million dollars in fines (the highest the league can give) and more importantly, a lifetime ban from the sport which formerly lined his coffers.
Now with the owner vote only being a formality, Sterling will be forced to sell his team (despite his futile and desperate lawsuit). And his players, coaches, staff, and employees will rid themselves of the dark cloud which he cast over their franchise. A dark cloud which could have spread itself over the entire league if not for the expeditious action of one man.
In this case, every cloud does have a "Silver" lining.
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