Vivek Ranadivé has spoken out against reportedly racist comments made by a fellow NBA owner.
The Sacramento Kings majority owner is appalled by the remarks allegedly made by Donald Sterling. The Clippers owner is the subject of scrutiny after TMZ released an audio recording believed to be of Sterling making derogatory comments about minorities, including NBA legend Magic Johnson, in a phone conversation with his girlfriend.
“I was shocked,” Ranadivé said of the story Sunday afternoon at Oracle Arena during Game 4’s matchup between the Clippers and Warriors. “Those are shameful, reprehensible words – hurtful. And if they are authenticated, I believe we should have zero tolerance. And I have full faith that the commissioner will do the right thing and we support him 100 percent.”
Ranadivé, who is the first majority owner of Indian descent in the NBA, attended yesterday’s game with Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson. The point guard-turned-politician is assisting the players’ union’s efforts to assure that satisfactory punishment is taken against the Clippers owner if an investigation verifies the authenticity of the recording in question.
“I’ve spoken with him extensively,” Ranadivé said of Johnson. “He’s with me at the game (yesterday). I know that he’s been in discussions with Adam (Silver), as have I. And I fully expect that the commissioner will do all the right things and we all support him. The mayor supports him, I support him and let’s wait and see if they’re authenticated.”
There are questions surrounding Sterling’s fate as an NBA owner, including whether the league has the power to wrestle the team away from his control. Ranadivé says that he is deferring to the NBA Commissioner on that matter, but added that Silver has the backing of him and the 28 other owners on whatever decision he makes.
“We, as owners, have complete confidence that the commissioner will do the right thing,” Ranadivé said of Silver, who was also in attendance of Sunday’s game. “I think at the end of the day, this is not like any other business. The situation with the owners are (that they are) just custodians and the teams belong to the fans of the city. There’s no one person that’s bigger than the game.”
Chris Paul praises Kevin Johnson’s help in Donald Sterling controversy
As union president and member of the Clippers, Chris Paul is caught between a rock and a hard place. With the postseason in full swing for the Clippers, coupled with the controversy surrounding his team’s owner, the veteran All-Star is being analyzed under an intense microscope, so he decided to reach out to the Sacramento mayor for help.
Following Sunday’s defeat at the hands of the Warriors, Paul discussed Johnson’s role in this difficult situation faced by the players.
“Mayor Johnson is going to be unbelievable,” the 28-year-old guard said of the Sacramento politician. “We’ve talked probably not as often as you guys think, but what they’re doing is giving me an opportunity to stay locked in with my team and what we’re in the playoffs trying to do. For us, it’s all about winning basketball games, nothing else.”
In addition to this recent firestorm involving Sterling, Paul also enlisted Johnson’s services in the union’s search for a new executive director.