Sacramento Kings owner Vivek Ranadive believes that his fellow NBA owners will unanimously vote to force Donald Sterling to sell the Los Angeles Clippers. Ranadive bought the Kings in May of 2013 but has been involved with the league since becoming a co-owner of the Golden State Warriors in 2010.
Ranadive, who is the NBA’s first Indian owner, was very vocal in his support of NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s Tuesday ruling that banned Sterling for life for his racist comments that were captured on tape by his ex-girlfriend. On Wednesday morning Ranadive went on ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike” show to discuss his stance. He had the following to say:
I would be surprised if this was not a unanimous vote. The owners are amazing people – they’re color-blind – and I fully expect a unanimous vote.
Silver not only banned Sterling, but also fined him $2.5 million and claimed that he would try to force the 80-year-old to sell the Clippers.
The NBA owners’ advisory and finance committee will hold a meeting on Thursday to figure out the next steps in the process to remove Sterling. Minnesota owner Glen Taylor chairs the committee, and the other members are Miami’s Micky Arison, the Lakers’ Jeanie Buss, Oklahoma City’s Clay Bennett, Phoenix’s Robert Sarver, Indiana’s Herb Simon, Toronto’s Larry Tanenbaum, New York’s James Dolan and Boston’s Wyc Grousbeck.
While there is still a substantial process to go through to make Sterling’s ouster happen, Ranadive believes it will happen and all the owners will support that move.
For Sterling to be forced out, 75 percent of the league’s owners would have to vote in favor of making such a move. Which means that 22 out of the 29 teams (the Clippers likely would not have a vote) would have to vote yes.
It seems a foregone conclusion that the vote will at least be close to unanimous, since keeping Sterling around would be awful for the NBA’s business. Ranadive knows his way around the NBA, so we’d bet he’s probably correct in his assumption.