LOS ANGELES -- NBA players strongly considered boycotting playoff games if Commissioner Adam Silver hadnt ruled harshly against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. Players union Vice-President Roger Mason Jr. said Tuesday he spoke to representatives from every playoff team about the possibility of boycotting the upcoming post-season games in solidarity against any ruling that didnt include a mandate for Sterling to sell the Clippers. "We didnt want to jump to conclusions, but we were prepared that if this decision came down, we were prepared to move forward that way," Mason said. "We didnt think that this was just a Clippers issue, so we didnt want to put the pressure on Chris Paul and Blake Griffin and that team. We wanted to band behind our brothers to do the right thing." The Clippers host the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night, one of three playoff games on the NBA schedule. Three more are scheduled for Wednesday. Before Game 5 on Tuesday night, Clippers coach Doc Rivers said he wasnt certain his players had formally discussed a boycott. He thought the Clippers instead were just hoping for a suitable response from Silver. "I think they had the trust that there would be," Rivers said. "Im glad we dont have to find out." The Clippers and Warriors werent made available to reporters before Game 5. Mason believes every team would have embraced a boycott, and the veteran guard said Silver was made aware of the possibility of the unprecedented move by Kevin Johnson, the Sacramento mayor and former NBA player who is advising the union on the issue. "I spoke to (Warriors forward) Jermaine ONeal, and he pretty much said that their team would be on board," Mason said. During a news conference at Los Angeles City Hall, several current and former players proclaimed their support for Silvers decision. Sterling was fined $2.5 million and banned from the NBA for life for racist comments made in a recorded conversation. Silver also said he will urge the NBAs board of governors to compel Sterling to sell the Clippers. "We were very clear that anything other than Sterling selling his team was not going to be enough for us," Mason said. Mason said the players arent yet completely satisfied. They want a concrete timetable for the board governors vote necessary to force Sterling to sell his team. But Mason is confident the other NBA owners will vote to force Sterling to sell. "I know a lot of the owners personally from spending time in negotiations, and I would be shocked if it wasnt unanimous," Mason said. Willie McGinest Jersey
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.com) - Maria Sharapova reached her 10th career grand slam final after beating Ekaterina Makarova in straight sets at the Australian Open on Thursday.FIVE QUICK HOOPS THOUGHTS 1. SPURS WIN TITLE: The model NBA franchise. Bottom line, Im hopeful that everyone saw how beautiful the game is when its played with the team concept in mind and thats the right way to play. In a society where if very "Copycat" aligned, this could be a really good development for the game as a whole on all levels. Every coach out there has the blueprint that we all witnessed for the sacrifice and selfless play that is the core principle of the sport. Now its on every coach to demand that the game be played (and important for folks in authority to back this concept and their leaders) in the proper fashion with We/Us always coming first before I/Me and a guys nonsensical "brand". Youre a player, not a "brand". Its a TEAM game - always will be. Fingers crossed that young players across the globe and particularly here in North America (where some have a warped view of what the sport is) see this as a cool way of playing the game and that the "pass" is a great way of "expressing yourself". 2. LEBRON JAMES (Heat): Im tired of the knuckleheads that bash him vs. Michael Jordan. Hes a totally different player in a different era. The guy plays hard, is a great teammate and is the only reason the Heat even were able to compete in short stretches. I saw no Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Horace Grant, Toni Kucoc, John Paxson or Steve Kerr out there for Miami in this series. The guy was fighting many times on his own. Hed be a guy that I would be honoured to coach and Id say more than 99 per cent of players - current and retired - would love to have him as a teammate. Is he as good as Jordan? No. So what? Its not like he isnt laying it on the line each night. Hes still terrific and not the problem. Im far from an apologist. He has made his fair share of mistakes but at the core, he carries himself properly and values the team concept. I would take him any day of the week on my team. 3. CARMELO ANTHONY (Knicks): I said this after Game 4 and Ill say it again, I think the Melo to Miami rumours were a distraction to the Heat - particullarly to guys like Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.dddddddddddd By the way, the two of them played poorly to say the least (24 points combined on 26 shots in Game 5). Not sure where he ends up but hes a wonderfully talented player who is an amazing scorer who Im not totally sold understands the 10-man (5-on-5) game and the value of team play. He needs a very strong coach and point guard to get him to see the light. In my opinion, Jason Kidd really helped him last season in his final year as a player, allowing him to understand the right way to play. With him though, its a daily fight to continue to get him to shake off bad habits and buy in to the value of the team game. He knows right from wrong - hes a big boy with tons of talent and money. Accountability is key with him. You keep him on the right path and he can really help you but you have to battle him every day. Ask George Karl - thats tiring. It can be done though. You need great energy and persistence to get him to do it each day. Teams need to decide if they want to fight that fight. 4. SHANE BATTIER and RAY ALLEN (Heat): Battier has already announced his retirement (guys actually retire? Not too often these days - normally guys hang on for anther deal as long as possible) and Allen might choose the same path. Both of them are FIRST CLASS, top-notch professionals who got everything out of their games. They had work ethics off the charts and are coachable. Wonderful examples of the best the game has to offer. Have always admired their approach. When you think of all the lucky guys who had a chance to play with these guys over the years, it has made the game better. Their influence and maturity were impactful, as was their play. 5. DAVID BLATT (Coach): Has had great success overseas and in international competition. Happy to see his name mentioned for the Cavaliers head coaching job as well as the top assistant job with the Warriors. Long overdue. Hes a top-notch offensive coach and gets a ton out of the talent level at his disposal. Very adaptable and creative. Would be a nice addition to the NBA coaching fraternity in some role. ' ' '