NBA bans LA Clippers owner for life

Cuttino Mobley and Jim Gray react to Donald Sterling's lifelong ban from the NBA over racist remarks


This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," April 29, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly. Thanks for watching us tonight.

The "Talking Points Memo" on stunning new information about Benghazi and the President's falling poll numbers will be in our second segment tonight.

But our lead story, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers banned for life by the NBA for making racist comments. In a press conference today, Commissioner Adam Silver let Donald Sterling have it.


SILVER: Accordingly, effective immediately, I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers organization or the NBA. As for Mr. Sterling's ownership interest in the Clippers, I will urge the board of governors to exercise its authority to force a sale of the team and will do everything in my power to ensure that that happens.


O'REILLY: So Sterling is done and also has to pay $2.5-million fine which will be given to charity.

Joining us from Los Angeles, Cuttino Mobley who played for the Clippers and Fox News sports analyst Jim Gray. Mr. Gray let's begin with you. How can the owners force Sterling to sell the team? How can they do that?

JIM GRAY, FOX NEWS SPORTS ANALYST: A three-quarter vote by the board of governors, by the teams that are in the NBA. If he doesn't comply they can start making all of his players free agents. the bottom line is here they can make it so miserable, ostracize him, put him as a pariah that he is and it would be impossible for him to operate. They don't have to schedule preseason games and no one will play him. It's going to be very, very difficult for him to continue if they force the sale and it looks like they are going to.

O'REILLY: All right so.

GRAY: And I spoke to Donald Sterling before his punishment Bill and he said he is not selling the team and he's not going to be forced to sell the team.

O'REILLY: Well he's a billionaire so he could take the monetary loss if he wants to and I assume -- shouldn't assume anything here -- but he is the kind of guy that might dig in and just get a battery of lawyers and do the constitutional thing and you're violating my constitutional rights you can't force me to sell anything, it's my property, I bought it. But as you say, there are bylaws and he had to sign them so in the end he loses. But it could hold on for a few years, I guess, if he wanted to.

Mr. Mobley, I'm interested because you played for the Clippers and he was the owner at the time. Did you have any dealings with him?

CUTTINO MOBLEY, FORMER LA CLIPPERS PLAYER: Yes. Like I said, I was -- he was -- he never done anything wrong to me. I can't sit here and say that he has done anything wrong to me. Yes, he has done things in the past and he has done things to other people that they might not agree with. You know, it doesn't mean I have to affiliate myself on a regular basis with the man -- but again --


O'REILLY: All right but usually -- usually your sports agents deal with the owners. But did you yourself have any personal contact with Sterling? I mean was he around? Did you talk to him? What were your impressions of the man?

MOBLEY: Only time I was around him was when I was at the gym when I was at the Staples Center and after I played where you know Cuttino come sit with me half court or Cuttino how are you doing? How is life? Those things like that. Other than that, it was never anything malicious he said in my face or anything like that.

O'REILLY: Ok. Did the other players on the team, while you were there, were they aware that Sterling had all kinds of litigation and civil rights arena against him? Were they aware that there were some controversy there?

MOBLEY: Yes, I mean we all were, you know, aware to a certain extent of the things that went on in his life and how he ran his business as far as real estate. But again, when it doesn't affect you, personally, we really don't care. And that's -- that's the every -- every single body. But then once now it affects us, now we have to stand up and say something about it.

O'REILLY: Sure all right so while you were there, Sterling wasn't really an issue in your life. You went, you tried your hardest, you got paid and that was it. Is that accurate?

MOBLEY: Pretty much so.

O'REILLY: Ok. Now, Jim, Mark Cuban said in a statement, and I want to be fair to him, that what Sterling said was appalling. But also, that if you take his team away, you may then be violating his constitutional rights and putting a damper on freedom, freedom in general, not just in basketball. You saw what he said, how do you react?

GRAY: Well, since then, Bill, I just got a text from Mark Cuban before we came on the air. He said he 100 percent agrees and supports what Adam Silver did and he said Adam did a great job and I couldn't concur more. So whatever he thought yesterday apparently he thinks this is fine today.

O'REILLY: He's changed. I love to talk to Cuban. I hope Cuban will come on the program. Tomorrow we're going to have Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Because he from many years has been involved with politics and I'm looking forward to talking to him.

Ok so now is the story over Jim? Is it over, is this it, ok, you know, Sterling is done, finished forever. It'll just be how it unfolds. Is the story done?

GRAY: No. No. The story is never over with Donald Sterling. He sued the league before. He moved here without the permission of the NBA. According to what he told me before he knew his punishment he is not giving up this team and he is not selling, perhaps he'll try and work out a deal with his son-in-law or his wife.

O'REILLY: All right so he may litigate it forever.

GRAY: So this isn't over but I think it's going to be so miserable at some point, at some point he will see the light and he will end it.

O'REILLY: But he is 82. He could just say hey, I'm just going to give the league back what I think -- he could do anything. But is the story over as far as the players are concerned? Mr. Mobley, do you think the story is over as far as the players are concerned?

MOBLEY: Well I don't think it's over. I think, you know, listen, we love basketball and we love our fans all around the league, you know. And you know, they make us and you know, and, again, we started playing this game at a very young age, so I don't think one man's opinion of what he think of race, gender or whatever is should dictate how we run our lives.

It's sad that he said it, you know. But I think guys will still continue to play basketball and love the game.

O'REILLY: Sure. I don't think the game itself is going to be. But it would be interesting to see if this carries over.

Real quick, Gray, do you think this is over as far as the players are concerned?

GRAY: It's going to be over in terms of Donald Sterling, but I think there is going to be more vigilance and they're going to make sure this doesn't happen anywhere else. This is not what the NBA represents. I don't think they are going to find anything.


GRAY: I think it's going to be used as an example and everybody is going to see it and they are all going to take note and this will not happen again. And I applaud what -- what Adam Silver did today. It's been a long time coming.

O'REILLY: Yes and then I think he had to do what he did and so as an observer of the NBA for many, many years I thought -- and Mr. Mobley just real quick -- I thought it was pretty good race relations in that league. I think you know that's from a fan standpoint, yes, no?

MOBLEY: Well, yes. You know, no, no definitely. Listen, at the end of the day, there has never been anything to this magnitude that came up from since I have been in the NBA.


MOBLEY: You know I'm only 38 years old. So I haven't seen anything like that. So I can't sit here and think --

O'REILLY: I thought it was a model. You know it was model it seemed that the players played together predominantly black but everybody got along. The fans got along with the players. That's what it looked like.

All right gentlemen, we really appreciate it tonight?

MOBLEY: Yes we all -- we all got along.

O'REILLY: And we have a brand new poll for you. What do you think? What do you think should have happened to the Clippers owner? Forced to sell the team? Fine? Suspended from the NBA but allowed to come back at some point?

Please go to and cast your ballot.

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