Story by the Associated Press; curated by Dave Urbanski
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — LeBron James called comments on an audio recording of a man identified as Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling "appalling" and said he's not sure if he would suit up for the remainder of the NBA playoffs if he played for the Clippers.
The man heard on the recording questions his girlfriend's association with minorities.
Miami Heat forward LeBron James. (Image source: AP/Wilfredo Lee)
"There's no room for Donald Sterling in the NBA — there is no room for him," the Heat forward said Saturday night before a playoff game against the Charlotte Bobcats.
The league said Saturday it was investigating the recording posted on TMZ's website, calling the comments "disturbing and offensive."
James said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver should take swift action if the comments are found to be made by Sterling.
"Obviously, if the reports are true it's unacceptable in our league," James said. "It doesn't matter, white, black or Hispanic — all across the races it's unacceptable. As the commissioner of our league they have to make a stand. They have to be very aggressive with it. I don't know what it will be, but we can't have that in our league.
"We're the model citizen of all sports around the world because we are the most recognizable figures. ... It's very disrespectful and it's appalling."
In this Oct. 17, 2010 file photo, Los Angeles Clippers team owner Donald Sterling watches his team play in Los Angeles. (Image source: AP/Mark J. Terrill, File)
One of James' best friends, Chris Paul, plays for the Clippers.
James said he hasn't spoken with Paul, but "I can only imagine what is going through his head."
"I have kind of wavered back and forth if I would actually sit out," James said. "If our owner would come out and say the things he said I would have to sit down with my teammates and talk to my family because at the end of the day, our family and teammates are way more important than that,. Basketball is huge and the playoffs have been unbelievable so far and I hate that something has to come out."
James said he's not angry about the comments, just disappointed.
"I can only imagine if a player came out and said something of that stature what would happen to us as players," James said. "I believe in Adam (Silver) and I believe in the NBA and they have to do something very fast before this really gets out of hand. But like I said there is no room for Donald Sterling in our league."