The people who regulate rich white guys in basketball are way tougher than the people who regulate rich white guys in banking.
— Kevin Roose, author of Young Money: Inside the Hidden World of Wall Street’s Post-Crash Recruits (affiliate link), commenting on Twitter about N.B.A Commissioner Adam Silver’s harsh punishment of Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.
(Both Silver and Sterling are lawyers. Check out their backgrounds, and find out which elite firm conducted the NBA investigation of Sterling, after the jump.)
In case you missed the news, here’s a report from the New York Times:
Donald Sterling, longtime owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, was barred for life from the league and fined $2.5 million by N.B.A Commissioner Adam Silver on Tuesday for racist comments captured on an audio tape that Silver said Sterling admitted were his. Silver said Sterling would be barred from any contact with his team or the league and he will urge the league’s board of governors to force Sterling to sell the team.
The fine, Silver said, was the maximum allowed by the league’s constitution.
Constitution? That sounds awfully lawyerly. As it turns out, Commissioner Silver is a lawyer — and an impressively pedigreed one at that. As you can see from his bio, he graduated from Duke University and the University of Chicago Law School, worked as a litigation associate at Cravath, and clerked for the #1 superhottie of the federal judiciary, Judge Kimba Wood (S.D.N.Y.).
Silver had some help in his investigation of Donald Sterling. For its investigation, the NBA retained Wachtell Lipton partner David Anders — a Dartmouth and Fordham Law grad, former law clerk to Judge Denny Chin (when Judge Chin was on the S.D.N.Y.), and former assistant U.S. attorney (S.D.N.Y.). As a federal prosecutor, Anders handled a number of high-profile matters, including the WorldCom case.
Donald Sterling, who made his fortune in real estate, is a lawyer as well. He graduated from California State University and Southwestern Law School, and he practiced personal injury and divorce law before entering the business world.
So Sterling once worked as a matrimonial lawyer — ironic, given that his messy marital life probably contributed to his racist comments coming to light. Physician, heal thyself.
N.B.A. Commissioner Hands Clippers Owner Lifetime Ban [New York Times]
Sterling’s wife describes alleged mistress as gold digger in lawsuit [Los Angeles Times]