LeBron urges vote against Sterling


MIAMI -- LeBron James is demanding NBA owners follow up on commissioner Adam Silver's lifetime ban against Donald Sterling by voting to force the league's longest-tenured owner to sell the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Miami Heat superstar was one of the first athletes to strongly condemn Sterling last weekend after a recording was released that included Sterling making racists remarks about African-Americans.

James applauded Silver's decision Tuesday to ban and fine Sterling $2.5 million for his actions, but also stressed he won't be satisfied until Sterling is removed from ownership.

"It's a monumental day and it's going to be remembered in NBA history," James said after Wednesday's practice. "But the job is still not done. It's a win, but we still need the owners to do their part."

For Sterling to be forced to sell, 75 percent of the league's teams would have to vote in favor of such a move. That means if 29 teams vote, Silver would have to get 22 yes votes. If all 30 clubs have a vote, the number needed for passage rises to 23.

The owners' advisory and finance committee, which includes Heat owner Micky Arison, will hold a meeting Thursday to discuss next steps.

President Barack Obama also supported the sanctions against Sterling, according to White House press secretary Jay Carney.

James said he understands the next step won't be easy or quick, but that's it's necessary in order for the vast majority of NBA players to continue to have faith in the direction of the league.

"With this particular case we're fighting for, I don't think it can do anything to hurt our game," James said. "We're fighting to get an owner out of our league who shouldn't be a part of our league. No matter how long it takes, no matter how much money it costs, we need to get him out of there -- and whoever is associated with him doesn't belong in our league.

"Obviously, it's not going to be night and day -- you wake up tomorrow and the team is in someone else's hands. But we need to get the next step going."

According to sources Arison, who has had differences with Sterling, is believed to be on board with forcing him out as an owner.

Milwaukee Bucks owner Sen. Herb Kohl, whose agreement to sell his team for $550 million is pending league approval, is also among a growing group of owners inclined to vote against Sterling, sources said.

The NBA confirmed to ESPN.com's Darren Rovell that it has requested that owners and senior management not make any further public comments about the Clippers and the ownership situation. Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor told this to FOX Sports 1 earlier Wednesday.

There are others who believe the lifetime ban and fine are enough.

James wants to see more owners confirm that they will take action when it's time to vote.

"We still have to wait on the owners' decision, which I believe will be in favor of what we all believe in," James said. "I've seen some of the owners come out and say they're in favor of the decision Adam Silver made. But it's not all of them. We need three-fourths of them, and I've only seen, like, three or four of them comment. So we need more than three or four."

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