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Clippers: 'Now the healing process begins'

<p>Less than an hour after NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life and fined him $2.5 million for violating league rules through his expressions of offensive and hurtful views, the team released a two-sentence statement.</p>

Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Less than an hour after NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life and fined him $2.5 million for violating league rules through his expressions of offensive and hurtful views, the team released a two-sentence statement.

"We wholeheartedly support and embrace the decision by the NBA and Commissioner Adam Silver today. Now the healing process begins," the statement read.

The Clippers website also greets visitors with the simple slogan, "WE ARE ONE" on a black background containing solely the team logo without any links.

A recording became public on Friday, when TMZ.com posted nearly 10 minutes of audio it said is a conversation between Sterling and his girlfriend, in which a man tells a woman he is bothered by her association with African-Americans and asks her not to bring them to Clippers games.

Deadspin.com also released another tape, said to be between Sterling and his girlfriend, in which the man tells the woman he supports the players because his money pays for their food, clothes, cars and houses.

Silver said on Tuesday that the NBA's investigation into the situation included an interview of Sterling, who confirmed it was his voice on the recording. Silver is also urging the NBA Board of Governors to force Sterling to sell the team.

Nearly lost in the middle of the mess is that the Clippers are set to host the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night in Game 5 of their Western Conference quarterfinal with the series even at two games apiece.

The Clippers' statement added that the organization will hold a press conference Tuesday night prior to their game.

Other statements and tweets following the punishment issued by Silver include:

"I agree 100% with Commissioner Silver's findings and the actions taken against Donald Sterling," Mavericks owner Mark Cuban tweeted shortly after the announcement.

"Commissioner Silver showed great leadership in banning LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life," tweeted former Lakers great Earvin "Magic" Johnson. "Former and current NBA players are very happy and satisfied with Commissioner Silver's ruling "

"I commend Commissioner Adam Silver in being diligent in how he handled this important matter. He acted swiftly and appropriately with the severity of the penalty and I strongly support his decision," said Atlanta Hawks majority owner Bruce Levenson in a statement.

"The Orlando Magic feel the recent reprehensible comments by Donald Sterling were absolutely unacceptable and do not reflect the values and beliefs of our organization or our league. We applaud the leadership of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, as well as head coach Doc Rivers and his players, who are at the epicenter of the situation," read a statement released by the Orlando Magic.

Former NBA center and current NBA analyst Shaquille O'Neal tweeted, "Way to go, Commissioner Silver! The NBA stands for everybody!"

Miami Heat forward LeBron James tweeted, "Commissioner Silver thank you for protecting our beautiful and powerful league!! Great leader!! #BiggerThanBasketball #StriveForGreatness"

"'Standing ovation' for Commissioner Silver. Big time decision standing up for the league and it's players. Now, Gotta see it through" tweeted Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry.

A statement from the Toronto Raptors read, "As a proud member of the National Basketball Association, we stand strongly in our belief that the comments attributed to Mr. Sterling have no place in our society or sport. Our organization will always work to contribute to a culture of diversity and acceptance in this league and fully support the actions taken today. We thank Commissioner Adam Silver, and all of the NBA players, for their leadership on this important issue."

The following statement was released by Golden State Warriors Co-Owner and CEO Joe Lacob on behalf of the entire Warriors organization: "We applaud the firm punishment handed out today by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and appreciate the swiftness with which the NBA conducted its investigation. Similarly, we anticipate that the NBA Board of Governors will act promptly to put this chapter behind us. As I noted on Sunday, the sentiments expressed on the audio recording were completely inappropriate, unacceptable and senseless. We cannot tolerate such feelings or beliefs, not only in the NBA, but in society in general. There is absolutely no room for racism in our world, period."

"The Timberwolves stand firmly in full support of the swift and impactful action taken today by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. His leadership and direction in this matter is completely appropriate and appreciated by the Timberwolves organization. We stand unified with Commissioner Silver today and reaffirm our organization's zero tolerance approach to the type of reprehensible behavior which caused this action," read a statement from Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor.

The following statement was issued by Lakers President Jeanie Buss: "In my statement yesterday, I said I had full confidence in Adam Silver and how he and the NBA would handle this situation. In today's announcement Adam was decisive, firm and compelling and showed great leadership in his condemnation of the horrible and offensive comments that have led to this action."

Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores has issued the following statement: "I am proud of Adam Silver for providing the leadership and strength necessary in this situation. He has my full support."

Statement from Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf and Chicago Bulls President and COO Michael Reinsdorf: "We completely support Commissioner Silver's decision today regarding Clippers owner Donald Sterling, and praise him for his prompt investigation and action. The Commissioner was correct to ban Mr. Sterling from all official NBA business, to levy the stiffest allowable fine, and we will support his recommendation to press for Mr. Sterling to relinquish his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers franchise. We believe Commissioner Silver's decision reflects the best interests of the NBA and public civility. The league's decision underscores the severity and reprehensible nature of the comments attributed to Donald Sterling. These comments in no way reflect the attitude, values, and culture of the Bulls and White Sox organizations. This behavior cannot be tolerated in any form. Discrimination and prejudice of any kind have no place in sports or in our society."

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