The lifetime ban and the forced sale to come were the headliners, of course, but both were no-brainers even before the sponsors started bailing, and before President Obama weighed in from Malaysia, and before the ever-neutral Michael Jordan took a strong social stance.
Silver said he's known Sterling for 20 years and yet had never seen signs of the behavior documented in court records and news accounts. He said that he didn't weigh Sterling's past in deciding Tuesday morning to ban him for keeps, but that the board of governors "will take into account a lifetime of behavior" when determining if he's fit to keep his team.
Why didn't Stern take that lifetime of behavior into account? A request for an interview with the former commissioner was met by a league spokesman's response that Stern was not available for comment.
His inaction had said it all, anyway. The man who took the game global, who turned the NBA into a juggernaut, was supposed to leave his protégé, Silver, with Shaq-sized shoes to fill.
Those shoes never looked smaller than they did on the last day of Donald Sterling's NBA life.