Garcetti, appearing on CBS News' "Face the Nation" program, was
asked about a potential boycott of Clippers games if Sterling balks
and said, "I would certainly keep that arrow in my quiver."
Last week NBA Commissioner Adam Silver fined Sterling $2.5 million
and imposed a lifetime ban after the revelation of taped
conversations in which he told his friend, V. Stiviano, that he did
not want her to bring black people to Clippers games or pose for
pictures with them.
The NBA Board of Governors is expected to meet within the next two
weeks to vote on forcing a sale of the team.
Sterling, who built a fortune estimated at $1.9 billion through Los
Angeles-area real estate holdings, bought the Clippers for $12
million in 1981 and the franchise now is valued at $430 million by
Garcetti said he had spoken with Sterling, urging him to apologize
for his comments, but that he expects an ugly legal battle.
"I think that he thinks that he's going to be the owner for a long
time, that he wants to stay the owner," Garcetti said. "And I said,
'This will be a long, protracted fight and a painful thing for our
Garcetti said Sterling's continued ownership could be "very tough"
for the Clippers players, who advanced to the second round of the
NBA playoffs Saturday, since further success would profit Sterling.
Kevin Johnson, a star guard for the Phoenix Suns in the 1980s and
1990s and now mayor of Sacramento, California, served as an emissary
for the NBA players union after Sterling's conversations were
revealed. He said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he would like to
see a unanimous or near-unanimous result when owners vote on making
Sterling to sell the team.
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A three-fourths vote by the board of governors would be required to
force the sale.
"I think the players feel very strongly that they have confidence
in the owners to make the right decision," Johnson said. "I think
the owners are going to put the Clippers in a position where this
owner, Mr. Sterling, is going to have to sell the team. Whether it
happens this week or next week, it's going to have to run that
"I think that everyone is anticipating there will be a legal fight,"
Johnson said. "However, I'd like him (Sterling) to rethink that
position. I think if Mr. Sterling was going to approach it the right
way, he would apologize, he would embrace the sanctions and spend
the rest of his life proving he wasn't a racist."
(Writing by Bill Trott; Editing by Jim Loney and Marguerita Choy)
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