The NBA has made the first move since the banning of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling as the expected spoof from Saturday Night Live (SNL) hits the air. The NBA is working with the Clippers to appoint a new chief executive officer to take over for the disgraced Sterling. In a surprising statement, Sterling’s estranged wife Shelly, released a statement supporting the league.
Sterling’s wife is a co-owner of the team and did attend game seven against the Golden State Warriors Saturday night. The lifetime ban leveled by the NBA was only to Donald Sterling, not Shelly. In the statement, Mrs. Sterling stated that she supported the actions taken by the league and believes the NBA and the Clippers should work together to find a new executive leader for the team. The question arises that with Mrs. Sterling mentioning a new executive leader for the team and not a new owner, she may not be willing to give up her part ownership, which could lead to a fight over the team.
According to Mike Bass, the NBA’s Executive Vice President of Communications, the process has begun in finding a CEO to take over operations of the team. The position will be a temporary one until the league’s owners can vote for a forced sale of the team. Once a sale is completed, the new ownership will be able to bring in new leadership to the Clippers front office.
As the NBA begins the process of removing Donald Sterling, the expected move by the comics at SNL to spoof of the situation hit the air Saturday night. Cast members suited up for the roles of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and the colorful Dennis Rodman while Bobby Moynihan took the role of the banned Sterling. Cast regular Kenan Thompson makes an appearance as the former head of the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP.
Rodman, portrayed by Jay Pharoah, came on-screen for the spoof of a press conference to show his support for Sterling and compared the disgraced NBA owner to the former NBA rebounding greats good friend Kim Jong Il, the leader of North Korea. The bit also showed that Sterling is changing his ways as he introduced the world to his new three-quarters black girlfriend played by Sasheer Zamata.
While SNL was having their fun and the NBA is starting to move, the Clippers still have work to do on the court. The team defeated the Warriors in the final game of their first round match up and now prepare to take on Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday.
The spoof from SNL hit the air as expected, but the move by the NBA was not the next move anticipated after the league banned Donald Sterling for life. After Silver announced that he would ask league owners to vote to force Sterling to sell the team it appeared the NBA was on track to do just that. It now appears that with the Clippers currently in the NBA post-season, the vote may now wait until the team is either eliminated from the playoffs or may take place when the NBA Finals are over.
Commentary By Carl Auer