Sound the opening bell, the NBA has officially charged Donald Sterling and set a date for the fateful vote meant to force his sale of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Monday the NBA released a statement claiming the defamed owner damaged the reputation of the league among other things.
"Mr. Sterling disparaged African-Americans and 'minorities'; directed a female acquaintance not to associate publicly with African-Americans or to bring African-Americans to Clippers games; and criticized African-Americans for not supporting their communities." (Via Sports Illustrated)
Obviously the NBA is referencing the now infamous tape of Sterling talking to V. Stiviano where he says among other things. "Yeah, it bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you're associating with black people. Do you have to?" (Via TMZ)
But in a sign of just how poorly Sterling handled this controversy, the NBA is also drawing ammo from his would-be apology interview with CNN where after saying how sorry he was he went on to explain why Magic Johnson isn't a good role model.
"He acts so holy, he made love to every girl in every city in America and he had AIDS."
"I think he should be ashamed of himself."
Also referenced in the NBA's statement for the first time is a date for the owners to vote on Sterling's termination. June 3 the NBA will be looking for three-fourths of the NBA owners to vote for Sterling to sell the team.
Sterling's lawyer reportedly said in a letter to the NBA that Sterling's comments do not warrant "any punishment at all."
And Sterling's estranged wife, Shelly Sterling has shown she's not giving up her half of the franchise without a fight. "'There are reports the NBA wants to oust you completely as a team owner. You will fight that decision?' 'I will fight that decision.'" (Via ABC)
Donald Sterling has until May 27 to formally respond to the NBA's charges.