Donald Sterling's attempt at an apology on CNN for his racist remarks didn't do much to salvage his reputation, and the embattled Clippers owner's fate still lies in the hands of the league's other 29 owners.
In a statement following Sterling's interview, NBA commissioner Adam Silver called Sterling's attacks on Magic Johnson "malicious" and said the "NBA Board of Governors is continuing with its process to remove Mr. Sterling as expeditiously as possible.”
While it's unclear how the owners will vote on Sterling, if three quarters of them don't vote to remove him as an owner, or if he finds some way to subvert the owners' ruling (which is a distinct possibility), the league could be in trouble.
Roger Mason Jr., the vice president of the NBA Players Association, told Jim Rome that if Sterling isn't removed as Clippers owner, LeBron James will boycott the 2014-15 season. Mason, currently a free agent, was James' teammate on the Heat earlier this season.
"I was just in the locker room three or four days ago. LeBron and I talked about it," Mason told Rome. "He ain't playing if Sterling is still an owner."
The four-time NBA MVP hasn't commented on whether or not he'll play, but he has spoken out against Sterling. After Silver fined Sterling $2.5 million and banned him for life, James broke his Twitter silence with this:
— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 29, 2014
Before Miami's Game 4 against Brooklyn, James had this to say about the possibility of Sterling's wife, Shelly, staying in control of the team.
"As players, we want what's right and we don't feel like no one in his family should be able to own the team," he said.
The league has made it clear that it will be extremely disappointed if Donald Sterling is allowed to retain control of the Clippers. If that happens, and James chooses to boycott, that would be a disaster for the NBA.
And according to Mason, James won't be the only one sitting out if Sterling maintains control.
"If it's not handled by ... the start of next season, I don't see how we're playing basketball," Mason said. "At the end of the day, you know we have leaders. We have player reps, we've got executive committee members… Leaders of the teams, they're all saying the same thing, 'If this man is still in place, we ain't playing'."
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