Donald Sterling kind of gave the league no choice in the actions they took against him IMO. What's worse, spending a few million dollars on legal fees over the next few years or the Clippers franchise imploding in value from 800 million to like 100 million? (ballpark guess)
Take the morality out of it, that would hurt everyone's wallet in the NBA.
The fallout of keeping him around could have been much worse than I think people are giving credit for. Everyone demanding trades, Doc resigning, fans boycotting.... I mean, the list is endless. Call me crazy, but this is the scenario I saw playing out if these actions by the commissioner weren't taken.
Legal fees now with Sterling are a drop in the bucket compared to the alternative, even if the NBA loses the case (which I'm not sure what would entail exactly). Plus, now they can bring in someone who's been properly vetted to take over Clippers ownership. Damage control with this new string of commercials are clearly well underway, and I think win or lose the NBA can actually turn this into a huge financial positive by taking this course of action against Mr.Sterling.
Look, the guy screwed up royally. It's fair to defend his ownership right and all, but keeping him around runs the risk of the league losing hundred of millions of dollars in the long term, if not billions, who knows.
Simply put, a guy who thinks he's a 21st century plantation owner cannot own an NBA team. Pandora's box got opened and you can't close it again, no matter who, what or how it opened IMO. The NBA is more than financially equipped to battle Sterling in the court room.
So while this is first and foremost a morality issue/race issue, whatever we want to call it.... financially, there was really no other choice here. Man, did you guys see the looks on every current and past players' face when interviewed about this story? There was clear anger, betrayal, and hurt in a lot of their eyes. And rightly so, guys, seriously. The NBAPA was ready to go to the mattresses, and the NBA just successfully avoided that by banning Donald Sterling for life and beginning the process of taking the Clippers away from him.
Certainly the legal side of this story is just getting started, and I'm sure I'll learn something about the court system in the way this all plays out. I'm legitimately interested in seeing what Donald Sterling is planning on doing here.