Silver's 1st crisis as commissioner has arrived

Updated: 2014-04-28 10:25


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Silver's 1st crisis as commissioner has arrived
NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaks to the media during the NBA All Star Game commissioner press conference at Smoothie King Center.  [Photo/Agencies]

Adam Silver's first crisis of his short tenure as NBA commissioner has arrived, a race-tinged scandal leaving those associated with the game wondering how strongly and swiftly the league will respond.

Allegations that Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was caught on tape making racist comments rapidly overshadowed perhaps the most entertaining opening playoff round in league history. The recording was first released by TMZ, and there still has been no official confirmation that Sterling is on the tape. Another tape was released Sunday by Deadspin.

Silver's first priority is verifying Sterling's voice is in the recording. From there, Silver's next move remains unclear. He works for the owners - and so far that group seems to have no sympathy for Sterling's latest controversy.

"I'm obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views," said Michael Jordan, the six-time NBA champion player who owns the Charlotte Bobcats. "I'm confident that Adam Silver will make a full investigation and take appropriate action quickly."

Miami owner Micky Arison called the comments "offensive, appalling and very sad."

Silver started as commissioner Feb. 1, replacing the retired David Stern, who once famously said that the league decided to suspend Ron Artest - now Metta World Peace - for virtually an entire season by a vote that was "unanimous." By that, he meant the vote was 1-0, his being the lone voice that mattered.

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