Adam's Song: NBA Commissioner Widely Praised For Swift Action Against Donald Sterling
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver "separated himself" from predecessor David Stern with the lifetime ban he gave Clippers Owner Donald Sterling yesterday, and "no one will dare call him Stern's puppet now," according to Adrian Wojnarowski of YAHOO SPORTS. Silver "made himself commissioner of the National Basketball Association on Tuesday, commissioner for everyone." One NBA team GM said, "Everyone feels a part of the NBA now" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 4/29). In Chicago, David Haugh writes the "easy decision also happened to be the right one, and the NBA will benefit as much as society." Silver as the "newest commissioner in pro sports emerged as the boldest." As much as the decision was a "triumph for justice, it represented a victory for Silver" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 4/30). In N.Y., Mike Lupica writes Silver "provided one of the great moments we have gotten lately in professional sports in this country" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/30). In Seattle, Jerry Brewer writes Silver "made history and announced himself as a leader to admire, fear and respect" (SEATTLE TIMES, 4/30). CSNBayArea.com's Andy Dolich said Silver was "golden today" ("Yahoo Sports Talk Live," CSN Bay Area, 4/29). In S.F., Scott Ostler writes Silver -- "bald, nerdy spectacles, drab business suit -- is my new action hero" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 4/30).
L.A. DAILY NEWS, 4/30). In Boston, Gary Washburn writes Silver took a "bold and unprecedented step in a controversy that sent shock waves throughout the sports world" (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/30). In Oakland, Marcus Thompson writes within a "matter of minutes, Silver became the NBA's next hero." He "appeased the players and validated their importance to the NBA machine" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 4/30). Thompson adds Silver "seized the opportunity to establish himself as a viable and worthy leader of the NBA ... to bolster the NBA's reputation for being a progressive league" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE, 4/30). NBA.com's David Aldridge wrote, "Speaking powerfully, with clear anger breaking through, Silver both protected the league he has been charged to lead, and stood tall on his own" (NBA.com, 4/29). In Chicago, Steve Greenberg writes Silver is a "man of both backbone and heart" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 4/30). TNT’s Ernie Johnson said, “I don’t think I’ve felt a prouder moment to be tied to the NBA than when I heard the words ‘for life.’ You were almost preparing yourself for ‘suspended indefinitely’ or something like that. When he said ‘banned for life’ … it was a galvanizing moment for everybody associated with that league” ("Inside The NBA," TNT, 4/29). Celtics Managing Partner & CEO Wyc Grousbeck said, "If Time came out tomorrow, Adam would be on the cover as their Man of the Year" (BOSTON HERALD, 4/30). FS1's Andy Roddick said Silver "gained a ton of respect across the NBA and across all sport platforms today" ("Fox Sports Live," FS1, 4/29). NBA TV's Brent Barry: "Today for Adam Silver could go down as one of the biggest decisions he ever made as commissioner" (NBA TV, 4/29). SPORTS ON EARTH's Will Leitch wrote the "power of Silver" was that he was "forceful despite all uncertainty." He was the "opposite of mealy-mouthed and lawyerly." Silver "left himself no wiggle room ... but he didn't leave Sterling much either" (SPORTSONEARTH.com, 4/29).
SENDING A STRONG MESSAGE: A Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE editorial states with yesterday's sanctions Silver and team owners have "sent a strong and important message to the general public and to those who care about professional sports" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 4/30). In Hartford, Jeff Jacobs writes as "nervous as he must have been," Silver was "equally powerful and sure" (HARTFORD COURANT, 4/30). A S.F. CHRONICLE editorial states "all decent Americans" should "invoke the integrity and courage of Adam Silver the next time they consider whether to ignore or confront racism in their midst" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 4/30). In Boston, Dan Shaughnessy writes Silver's "decisiveness is appreciated and rare in a litigious society that encourages/demands process" (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/30). In L.A., Ben Bolch writes Silver did "exactly what the outraged players demanded." Silver also "scored another important victory by making the league's constitution and bylaws public Tuesday in a nod to the transparency he has vowed to create" (L.A. TIMES, 4/30).
HISTORY LESSON: In S.F., Ann Killion writes Silver "brought down a force previously unseen in professional sports" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 4/30). In Denver, Benjamin Hochman writes of Silver, "He stood up there, unwavering. I'm the boss. This is how it's going to be" (DENVER POST, 4/30). USA TODAY's Christine Brennan writes yesterday was "historic and almost unprecedented." Brennan: "In other words, it was perfect" (USA TODAY, 4/30). In Charlotte, Scott Fowler writes what Silver did was a "great lesson in crisis management" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 4/30). In Tampa, Tom Jones writes Silver had "one of the finest moments in the history of sports commissioners" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 4/30). In Ft. Lauderdale, Dave Hyde writes Silver "dunked on Sterling in a manner no pro sports commissioner has ever, forcefully and publicly, done against a sports owner" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 4/30).
ON CLEAN-UP DUTY: In California, Mark Whicker notes Silver yesterday was asked why Sterling "wasn't held responsible for his past acts." But that question "needed to go to Stern." Silver was "forced to deal with the mess he was left, and did so as strongly as he could within legal confines" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 4/30). In Chicago, Steve Rosenbloom wrote Silver’s "one weak moment came when questioned about accusations of Sterling’s racist past." Rosenbloom: "That's on former commissioner David Stern, and so, his successor had to stand behind Sterling’s lack of a conviction and no admission of guilt." Silver did "as well as he could," and yesterday was a "good day for the NBA under the circumstances." The new commissioner "shined" (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 4/29). CBSSPORTS.com's Ken Berger wrote yesterday was a "massive test for the new commissioner to right the wrongs of the old commissioner" (CBSSPORTS.com, 4/29). In Massachusetts, Ron Chimelis writes Silver's "first major act was to clean up a mess that boiled over on his watch after festering for more than 30 years" (Springfield REPUBLICAN, 4/30). SPORTING NEWS' Sean Deveney wrote under the header, "With Decisive Action, Silver Does What Stern Never Could -- Oust Sterling" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 4/29).
IS STERN'S LEGACY TARNISHED? ESPN N.Y.'s Ian O'Connor writes the NBA "should be ashamed that it ignored Sterling's long history of racist and offensive conduct before doing what any right-minded observer knew had to be done" (ESPNNY.com, 4/29). In San Antonio, Buck Harvey writes under the header, "Inaction A Blemish On Stern's Legacy" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 4/30). In Orlando, Mike Bianchi writes, "Shouldn't the NBA, a sport where the work force is nearly 80 percent black, have been more diligent in ridding itself of such an insensitive, ignorant racist?" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 4/30). In L.A., Michael Hiltzik writes Sterling deserved the punishment "long ago." The league "condoned his behavior, and condoned his open efforts to maintain one of its valued franchises, located in a town of ferocious basketball fans, as a certified doormat." Hiltzik: "We know what the NBA stands for, because we know what it's accepted for the last 33 years" (L.A. TIMES, 4/30). In S.F., Thomas Lee writes, "Why throw Sterling out now? One simple reason: The Clippers used to stink and now they don't." It is "easier to ignore detestable behavior from a businessman whose business is irrelevant" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 4/30). A CHICAGO TRIBUNE editorial is written under the header, "NBA Shouldn't Have Waited 33 Years To Deal With Donald Sterling." The "takeaway here is that the NBA's long inaction allowed one foolish man to write a chapter in its history" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 4/30). In Phoenix, Dan Bickley writes just "four months into retirement, and Stern has been shown up by a rookie" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 4/30).