NBA: League to name chief executive to oversee Clippers

NEW YORK (AFP) - NBA officials said on Saturday, May 3, 2014, the league will name a chief executive officer for the Los Angeles Clippers following a lifetime ban imposed upon owner Donald Sterling for racist remarks.

The league will consult with current management of the Clippers in naming the new person who will supervise the club's activities, a statement from the NBA said.

"The best way to ensure the stability of the team during this difficult situation is to move quickly and install a CEO to oversee the Clippers organisation," said NBA executive vice-president of communications Mike Bass.

"The process of identifying that individual is under way."

The announcement came a few hours before the Clippers were set to play host to the Golden State Warriors in a showdown playoff game.

The Clippers and Warriors were deadlocked at 3-3 in their best-of-seven Western Conference first-round series.

Sterling was banned for life and fined US$2.5 million (S$3.1 million), the maximum allowable under NBA rules, by NBA commissioner Adam Silver last week after recordings of racist comments made by Sterling were made public.

Billionaire Sterling, an 80-year-old real estate tycoon, told his girlfriend that he did not want her bringing black people to Clippers games or post photos of herself with black people on social media websites.

The comments touched off a firestorm that resulted in Silver's actions.

NBA owners have already started the process of removing Sterling as an NBA owner, which takes a 75 per cent vote of the 29 other owners.

The process could push Sterling to sell the team, valued at almost US$600 million, but it could also prompt him to make a bitter legal fight to keep the team.