The vice president of the National Basketball Players Association told interviewer Jim Rome that the NBA’s marquee player will sit if the NBA’s pariah owner doesn’t quit.
“I was just in the locker room three or four days ago,” Derrick Mason Jr. said on Showtime. “LeBron 9and I talked about it. He ain’t playing if Sterling is still an owner.” James issued similar comments to the Associated Press.
The union representative indicated that the four-time MVP’s position is widely held within the league. Mason issued a deadline of the start of the 2014-2015 season for the NBA to divorce Donald Sterling. If it’s not met, Mason said, “I don’t see how we’re playing basketball.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued a lifetime ban on Donald Sterling last month after recordings surfaced of the Los Angeles Clippers owner making racist remarks. All signs point to the league’s owners forcing a sale of the team, but complications, such as wife Shelly Sterling asserting her rights as an owner or Donald Sterling fighting the move in court, could delay a change in ownership.
“No Sterling deserves to be an owner of that franchise any longer,” Mason continued. “And I’ve gone down the line from LeBron to the other guys in the league that I’ve talked to and they all feel the same way. There’s no place for that family in the NBA.”
While Donald Sterling indicated to Anderson Cooper that he would abide by a decision of his fellow owners to force him to sell the team, Shelly Sterling maintains that she shouldn’t be punished for her husband’s transgressions. “To be honest with you, I’m wondering if a wife of one of the owners, and there’s 30 owners, did something like that, said those racial slurs, would they oust the husband?” she asked ABC News. “Or would they leave the husband in?”