WASHINGTON -- Wizards forward Drew Gooden said Monday he expected the NBA to take firm action on Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
"There should be some consequences and repercussions for real," Gooden said as the NBA continued its investigation into racist comments that Sterling allegedly made to his girlfriend.
On Tuesday those repercussions came in the form of a lifetime ban from the NBA. Commissioner Adam Silver expelled the longtime owner from the league and fined him $2.5 million. The NBA will also force Sterling to sell the NBA franchise that he has owned since the early 1980s.
"I just don't know what he was thinking saying stuff like that," said Wizards forward Marcin Gortat. "That's just ridiculous. When he was buying a team, did he not see things around the league? It's just weird. I can't imagine why he'd say stuff like that. I don't think that there's a place for him the league."
Gooden played 24 games with the Clippers during the 2009-10 season and was familiar with Sterling's questionable character.
"I'm not surprised," Gooden said. "Where there's smoke there's fire and there have been past accusations about Mr. Sterling [relating to] racial discrimination and there have been [lawsuits and] cases against him for things that he's said and done in the past so we're there's smoke there's fire and this is nothing new."
Wizards head coach Randy Wittman also weighed in on the Sterling controversy.
"Forget about the NBA. There's no place for that in society- whether it's the NBA, Wall Street, or on any radio or TV station. It's sickening that we're dealing with something like this that we have to be talking about something like this… There's no place for it and that's just my feeling." Wittman played with Clippers head coach Doc Rivers when with the Atlanta Hawks in the 1980s and the two remain close friends.
"I know Doc very well and I feel sorry for him and his team that they have to go through something like this in the middle of a playoff run."
The Clippers had the best season in franchise history this year with a 57-25 record and a second straight Pacific Division title. Their first-round series with the Golden State Warriors is tied at two games apiece with Game 5 scheduled for Tuesday night from Staples Center in Los Angeles.
"It's a tough situation," Gooden said. "I think it's something that we need to overcome and just play above it. We know that this is not acceptable whether it's in the NBA or in society in general but we have to rise above it as players, owners and fans and move on."
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