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NBA owners decry alleged Sterling comments

POSTED: Apr 28, 2014 11:46 PM ET


Indiana Pacers owner Herb Simon on Monday called the controversial racist comments attributed to Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling "appalling" and "offensive" but said he's confident Commissioner Adam Silver will appropriately resolve the matter.

The 80-year-old Sterling, who has owned the Clippers since 1981, is under fire after allegedly making the comments in a recorded conversation with a woman. The NBA is investigating and Silver is scheduled to address the situation in a Tuesday news conference.

"I want our players, our coaches and everyone in our community to know that I believe statements attributed to Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling are appalling, offensive and totally contrary to my core beliefs and everyone in our entire organization," Simon said in a statement issued before the Pacers hosted the Atlanta Hawks in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series. "I am confident that Commissioner Adam Silver, who will speak tomorrow, and his staff will exercise due diligence on behalf of the National Basketball Association, its players and our fans and arrive at a solution that addresses the seriousness of this situation."

Simon was just one of several NBA team owners or officials who issued statements Monday decrying the comments.

Jeanie Buss, president of the Los Angeles Lakers, said: "The comments and sentiments expressed on the tape are reprehensible and disturbing, and certainly are the opposite of how the Lakers feel about the league's players and fans. I have full confidence that Adam Silver and the NBA will handle this situation appropriately."

Paul Allen, owner of the Portland Trail Blazers, urged Silver to act decisively.

"The kind of statements attributed to Clippers owner Donald Sterling, if true, are abhorrent, and not acceptable for the owner of an NBA franchise or anyone in professional sports," Allen said in a statement. "We at the Trail Blazers reject any and all such sentiments, and believe NBA leadership should take swift and impactful action in this case."

Josh Harris, managing owner of the Philadelphia 76ers, issued the following statement: "Without question, discrimination in any form is unacceptable and has no place in the National Basketball Association or anywhere else in society. The comments were hurtful and outrageous, and in no way reflect the values and beliefs of myself, our ownership group or the Philadelphia 76ers organization."

Harris said he was "confident that Commissioner Silver will undertake a thorough and thoughtful investigation into the matter."

Dan Gilbert, majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, echoed that sentiment in a statement.

"It is shocking that anyone could hold the kind of offensive and feeble minded views that are being attributed allegedly to the Clippers owner, Donald Sterling," Gilbert said. "The diverse staff members of the Cleveland Cavaliers franchise are unified in encouraging Commissioner Silver and the NBA to respond with swift and appropriate action consistent with a strong zero tolerance approach to this type of reprehensible behavior."