NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Kevin Harlan isn’t sure what we’ll see on the court from the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night.
But the TNT announcer knows what to expect elsewhere in and around Staples Center: security — and lots of it due to racially charged comments from Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
“I know that outside the building there’s great concern (from) the Los Angeles Police Department, and local authorities will beef up the security,” Harlan said on WFAN’s “Boomer & Carton” show.
“Inside, I’m sure there will be the same kind of presence,” added Harlan, who pointed out that Tuesday marks 22 years since the Rodney King verdict, which sparked the LA race riots.
The Clippers wore their practice jerseys inside-out and piled their team jackets at center court in protest of Sterling prior to Sunday’s road game against the Golden State Warriors. They also donned black socks and wristbands. The Miami Heat, Portland Trail Blazers and San Antonio Spurs followed with their own demonstrations on Monday night.
According to Yahoo! Sports, the Clippers are “contemplating making a bigger statement” for Game 5 on Tuesday night in Los Angeles.
Harlan, who will be calling the play-by-play with the series tied 2-2, said the team’s actions will depend on the severity of the punishment handed to Sterling.
“If they come out with a knockout, if they come out with something that is so conclusive — as much as they can in the short amount of time that this thing has emerged — I think that would satisfy about 90 or 95 percent of this,” Harlan said.
Hours later, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced a lifetime ban and said the league would also seek to have Sterling removed as owner of the Clippers. Sterling was also fined $2.5 million.
“We stand together in condemning Mr. Sterling’s views,” Silver said. “They simply have no place in the NBA.”
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