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NBAPA: Silver’s Punishment of Sterling Prevented Wizards-Bulls Game 5 Boycott

by Chris Lingebach
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Nene of the Washington Wizards hugs teammate John Wall at the end of Game 5 against the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on April 29, 2014 in Chicago, Ill. The Wizards defeated the Bulls 75-69 to win the series four game to one. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Nene of the Washington Wizards hugs teammate John Wall at the end of Game 5 against the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on April 29, 2014 in Chicago, Ill. The Wizards defeated the Bulls 75-69 to win the series four game to one. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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Update: Thurs. May 1, 2014 at 1:30 p.m.

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) - If NBA commissioner Adam Silver hadn’t handed down such a stiff penalty to Clippers owner Donald Sterling, the Washington Wizards wouldn’t have closed out against the Bulls Tuesday night, because neither team would have taken the court.

In fact, every playoff team would have boycotted had Silver not hit Sterling with a $2.5 million fine and lifetime NBA ban, NBA Players Association first vice president, Roger Mason, Jr., told 106.7 The Fan’s Lavar and Dukes on Wednesday.

“I landed in LA  yesterday, early in the morning, and reached out to Jermaine O’Neal from the Golden State Warriors, and let him know that from my perspective, if the commissioner didn’t do what he did, that it would be grounds for us to make a stand,” Mason said.

“He agreed. The other players on their team agreed. We happened to have three executive committee members that are a part of that franchise, and so, they really stood up and were leaders,” he said. “I reached out to the Clippers, reached out to the Wizards, the Bulls, OKC, Memphis, and everybody was just kind of waiting to see what happened.”

Fortunately for Wizards fans, Silver “got it right,” according to Mason, and were able take the floor with a 3-1 series lead, to eliminate the Bulls with a 75-69 Game 5 victory Tuesday evening.

“It was a process that was quick, swift, and now the next step is transferring ownership to a new owner,” Mason said.

“I think the commissioner got it right, like I mentioned, and if he hadn’t have put down these types of sanctions, there’s a strong chance you would have seen a boycott from the players – not just in the Clippers-Golden state game, but all the playoff games last night.”

On Thursday, Wizards forward Trevor Booker was asked if the Wizards were prepared to boycott Game 5.

“Personally, I didn’t hear anything about that, so I’m not sure,” Booker told Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier. “But we really didn’t talk too much about that whole situation as a team.”

Listen to the full interview below.

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