On Monday afternoon, the Los Angeles Lakers officially weighed in on the discussion with Lakers president Jeanie Buss publicly denouncing the racist comments allegedly made by Donald Sterling on an audio tape.
“The comments and sentiments expressed on the tape are reprehensible and disturbing, and certainly are the opposite of how the Lakers feel about the league’s players and fans. I have full confidence that Adam Silver and the NBA will handle this situation appropriately,” Buss offered her words in a press release.
Adam Silver, commissioner of the NBA, is in the spotlight with how he deals with the allegations, and the minimal punishment expected is to suspend Sterling for the remainder of the playoffs. That immediate penalty would serve as a temporary solution, but it remains to be seen how the first-year commissioner handles his first major crisis.
From the players’ standpoints, Kobe Bryant took to Twitter to share his thoughts.
On Saturday, Apr. 26, when the recordings were catching fire, Bryant tweeted “I couldn’t play for him.” A few Laker fans that are hell-bent on removing Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni from the equation probably jumped up in excitement. Before they landed, however, the masses realized that Bryant was probably referring to Sterling.
Bryant would be less veiled in his messages going forward.
“No, he should not continue owning the Clippers,” Bryant said on Twitter on Monday morning. He accompanied the strong personal opinion with three hash tags that illustrated the strength of his beliefs: “#nochance #noway #nohow.”
Bryant is not the only player or person to speak out against the comments allegedly made by Sterling, but Bryant represents a veteran player’s voice. His status in the game, in the world and in Los Angeles does hold meaning.
- Timeline: Donald Sterling's Legal Troubles
However, Buss’ voice means even more in this matter.
The commissioner is elected by and is accountable to the owners of each team. The Lakers’ owner made her opinion on the matter public before Silver made any announcements, so the Lakers appear to be on the “opposite” side of the comments and sentiments on the tapes.
If the alleged voice on the tape belongs to Sterling, once again, the Lakers appear to be on the “opposite” side of the Clippers.