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(CNN) – Los Angeles Clippers owner has been exposed publicly as a racist. Now he's boxed out. The commissioner of the NBA slapped Donald Sterling with the most severe punishment the league could muster Tuesday: A life-time ban from the sport, effective immediately, and a $2.5 million dollar fine.
The fine is the maximum allowed by the NBA. But does it really make a dent in a billionaire's bill fold, if it doesn't explicitly force Sterling to give up ownership of the team?
And if the real estate mogul is forced to sell the team, he stands to reap an enormous profit. He paid $12 million for the Clippers in 1981.
"The Clippers are probably worth closer to $1 billion, says director of Tulane University's sports law program Gabe Feldman.
"It will certainly lead to a windfall for Donald Sterling, it may be a windfall earlier than he hoped. But the question is, is this better for the NBA in the long term?" says Feldman. "Can we shift from talking about sponsors leaving the Clippers, maybe leaving the NBA, fans boycotting, and shift back to the focus on the court?"