If NBA owners are to force Donald Sterling to sell the Clippers, they will need a three-fourths supermajority vote. Commissioner Adam Silver said he has "the full support" of the owners, and most of them have already made their positions clear.
Pelicans owner Tom Benson released this statement:
"In light of the serious matter facing our league, a matter than transcends sports, the New Orleans Pelicans fully support the decisions made today by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and will fully support his recommendations moving forward."
From a statement by Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf and president Michael Reinsdorf:
"We completely support commissioner Silver's decision today regarding Clippers owner Donald Sterling and praise him for his prompt investigation and action. The commissioner was correct to ban Mr. Sterling from all official NBA business, to levy the stiffest allowable fine, and we will support his recommendation to press for Mr. Sterling to relinquish his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers franchise."
Heat owner Micky Arison:
Great job Adam.The @NBA is in good hands. You have my full support.
— Micky Arison (@MickyArison) April 29, 2014
Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor:
"The Timberwolves stand firmly in full support of the swift and impactful action taken today by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver."
Kings owner Vivek Ranadive:
— Vivek Ranadivé (@Vivek) April 29, 2014
A statement from the Celtics' managing partners:
"The entire Boston Celtics organization and our ownership group fully support the decisive action taken by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver today."
Knicks owner James Dolan:
"I have been in touch with the NBA and fully support Commissioner Silver's decision. I applaud Adam for acting quickly and decisively in appropriately addressing these disgusting and offensive comments."
"I commend Commissioner Adam Silver in being diligent in how he handled this important matter. He acted swiftly and appropriately with the severity of the penalty and I strongly support his decision."
"The Oklahoma City Thunder strongly supports the decisive action taken today by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver."
Just about every team's ownership has released a statement and published it on their official sites, though they tend to be boilerplate. In all, these statements run the gamut from general support to the more specific damn straight we're going to vote him out, and that's no surprise; Aside from being the right choice, it's politically and corporately expedient to support the new commissioner in his first significant action. (And of course, these owners have their fair share of skeletons in their own closets, so the sooner everyone stops talking about Sterling's ownership, the better.)
So it seems inconceivable that Silver won't get the 22 of 29 votes needed to compel Sterling to sell. The only question is whether anyone will abstain or vote no.
So what of Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who previously said he would support the maximum punishment, but expressed reservations about the "slippery slope" of taking a team away from an owner?
I agree 100% with Commissioner Silvers findings and the actions taken against Donald Sterling
— Mark Cuban (@mcuban) April 29, 2014