L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti has set up a phone conversation with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver for late Monday to discuss what steps the league can take to sanction embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
Speaking to reporters in Beverly Hills at the Milken Global Conference, Garcetti said that he plans to tell Silver the NBA needs to act quickly.
“This isn’t just about tainting the Los Angeles Clippers. This taints the entire National Basketball Association," Garcetti said. "I think it’s in the NBA’s interest, and certainly my city’s interest, to seek swift action.”
What exactly that action is, Garcetti’s unsure. He’d like to see a change in ownership, but doubts the NBA would have that power. At the very least, he wants Sterling banned from the rest of the playoffs.
“I believe the Clippers players shouldn’t have to worry about anything else than knowing that the city is behind them,” said Garcetti.
Garcetti is also looking into what city can do to get Sterling to go.
“We certainly have tremendous pressure, and I don’t intend to let up," said Garcetti. "This shouldn’t just go away and be forgiven.”
Garcetti said he’d met Sterling on a few occasions, but stressed that he had no personal relationship with him whatsoever.
They were due to be honored together next month at a Los Angeles NAACP banquet, where Sterling was to receive a second lifetime achievement award from the group.
"We encouraged them to take the correct step, which they did, in not honoring Mr. Sterling, and had they not changed that, I certainly wouldn't have been showing up," said Garcetti.