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Clippers: 'Now the healing process begins'

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The Sports Network
4/29/2014 4:15:50 PM
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Less than an hour after NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life and fined him $2.5 million for violating league rules through his expressions of offensive and hurtful views, the team released a two-sentence statement.

"We wholeheartedly support and embrace the decision by the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver today. Now the healing process begins," the statement read.

The Clippers website also greets visitors with the simple slogan, "WE ARE ONE" on a black background containing solely the team logo without any links.

A recording became public on Friday, when TMZ.com posted nearly 10 minutes of audio it said is a conversation between Sterling and his girlfriend, in which a man tells a woman he is bothered by her association with African-Americans and asks her not to bring them to Clippers games.

Deadspin.com also released another tape, said to be between Sterling and his girlfriend, in which the man tells the woman he supports the players because his money pays for their food, clothes, cars and houses.

Silver said on Tuesday that the NBA's investigation into the situation included an interview of Sterling, who confirmed it was his voice on the recording. Silver is also urging the NBA Board of Governors to force Sterling to sell the team.

Nearly lost in the middle of the mess is that the Clippers are set to host the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night in Game 5 of their Western Conference quarterfinal with the series even at two games apiece.

The Clippers' statement added that the organization will hold a press conference Tuesday night prior to their game.

Other statements and tweets following the punishment issued by Silver include:

"I agree 100% with Commissioner Silver's findings and the actions taken against Donald Sterling," Mavericks owner Mark Cuban tweeted shortly after the announcement.

"Commissioner Silver showed great leadership in banning LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life," tweeted former Lakers great Earvin "Magic" Johnson. "Former and current NBA players are very happy and satisfied with Commissioner Silver's ruling "

"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," said Atlanta Hawks majority owner Bruce Levenson in a statement.

"The Orlando Magic feel the recent reprehensible comments by Donald Sterling were absolutely unacceptable and do not reflect the values and beliefs of our organization or our league. We applaud the leadership of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, as well as head coach Doc Rivers and his players, who are at the epicenter of the situation," read a statement released by the Orlando Magic.

Former NBA center and current NBA analyst Shaquille O'Neal tweeted, "Way to go, Commissioner Silver! The NBA stands for everybody!"

Miami Heat forward LeBron James tweeted, "Commissioner Silver thank you for protecting our beautiful and powerful league!! Great leader!! #BiggerThanBasketball #StriveForGreatness"

"'Standing ovation' for Commissioner Silver. Big time decision standing up for the league and it's players. Now, Gotta see it through" tweeted Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry.

A statement from the Toronto Raptors read, "As a proud member of the National Basketball Association, we stand strongly in our belief that the comments attributed to Mr. Sterling have no place in our society or sport. Our organization will always work to contribute to a culture of diversity and acceptance in this league and fully support the actions taken today. We thank Commissioner Adam Silver, and all of the NBA players, for their leadership on this important issue."

The following statement was released by Golden State Warriors Co-Owner and CEO Joe Lacob on behalf of the entire Warriors organization: "We applaud the firm punishment handed out today by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and appreciate the swiftness with which the NBA conducted its investigation. Similarly, we anticipate that the NBA Board of Governors will act promptly to put this chapter behind us. As I noted on Sunday, the sentiments expressed on the audio recording were completely inappropriate, unacceptable and senseless. We cannot tolerate such feelings or beliefs, not only in the NBA, but in society in general. There is absolutely no room for racism in our world, period."

"The Timberwolves stand firmly in full support of the swift and impactful action taken today by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. His leadership and direction in this matter is completely appropriate and appreciated by the Timberwolves organization. We stand unified with Commissioner Silver today and reaffirm our organization's zero tolerance approach to the type of reprehensible behavior which caused this action," read a statement from Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor.

Los Angeles Clippers Protest (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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