Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander wants Donald Sterling out of the league as soon as possible. To that end, he's spoken to commissioner Adam Silver and suggested that the league let every man on the the Clippers roster become a free agent.
He reasons they would all leave and Sterling would be left with either an empty roster or a roster of highly overpaid scrubs, at which point he would have no other choice but to sell the team.
Calling the comments "disgusting," Alexander said he told Silver he should stab "a sword" into the heart of Sterling's ownership of the Clippers.
"I thought that there's got to be a way to disrupt him from owning the team," said Alexander, who after 20 years owning the Rockets is one of the longest tenured owners in the NBA. "I gave him the sword to deal with this. I said, 'Let the players become free agents.'"
Alexander said the goal of his suggestion was not to break up the Clippers, considered among the league's top teams, or even to punish Sterling. He said the objective was solely to back Sterling into a corner from which he will choose to sell the Clippers.
According to Alexander, commissioner Silver did not dismiss the idea out of hand. Although he was probably humoring Alexander, Silver said he would take the suggestion to his advisors to determine the legality of such a move. It is heartening that, at least privately, the commissioner is open to suggestions before he makes his announcement tomorrow.
Alexander brought up the free agency idea because he does not think the NBA can legally remove Sterling from ownership for being a racist embarrassment to the league. It's his understanding that the constitution only allows such a punishment if an owner is found gambling.
The Rockets owner of 20 years also bristled at the notion that he and other owners were in any way connected solely because they were members in the same club. To Alexander, Donald Sterling is nothing more than a business associate, and an embarrassing one at that.
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