Former Phoenix Sun Tom Chambers talks Donald Sterling lifetime ban, $2.5 million fine

PHOENIX - NBA Commissioner Adam Silver handed Donald Sterling the maximum penalty allowed with a lifetime ban and a $2.5 million fine.  Then, he called on NBA owners to force the sale of the LA Clippers.

It didn’t take long for former Suns players to weigh in with opinions and reaction. 

Former Suns All-Star Tom Chambers described his immediate reaction in our ABC15 studios.

“'Boom.’  And I think I texted that to you,” Chambers said during our interview.  “It’s exactly what needed to happen.  It’s great for the NBA.”

When Chambers entered the NBA as a rookie in 1981, he played for the San Diego Clippers and, yes, Donald Sterling.

“I was playing for the Clippers and myself and my family,” Chambers recalled when I asked him how players tolerate Sterling.  “You’re under contract. You can’t worry about one man. One man shouldn’t ruin the whole system.  He can’t bring it down.” 

Two-time Suns MVP Steve Nash thanked Silver for “a quick, unequivocal and concise decision made today on behalf of everyone involved in this situation.” 

“It begs the bigger question: if racism is a learned behavior, how long will it go on for,” Nash continued. “How long will people be taught to be bigoted, to discriminate and to instill hatred in our communities?"

“Lets hope this is an opportunity for all of us ... to help educate and take one step further to eradicating racism in our communities.”

And, speaking of former Suns All-Star point guards, Kevin Johnson has been leading the NBA Players Association on an interim basis. 

“Today the players believe the commissioner has done his duty," Johnson, the mayor of Sacramento, said surrounded by players outside the doors of Los Angeles City Hall. "On this day, Adam Silver is not only the owner’s commissioner, he is the player's commissioner."

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