DETROIT -- Add two Pistons voices to the rising chorus against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling as pressure mounts for the NBA to force the embattled real estate mogul to sell his franchise.
The controversy erupted early Saturday morning when TMZ released a recording that allegedly has the voice of Sterling making racist comments in a lengthy conversation with his girlfriend after she posted photographs of herself with Magic Johnson and Dodgers star Matt Kemp.
Pistons owner Tom Gores released a statement early Tuesday afternoon that said the league isn't welcoming to "prejudice or intolerance."
"We trust (NBA) commissioner Adam Silver to handle this matter swiftly and properly, but let me state without reservation: There is no place for prejudice or intolerance in our league, or anywhere else," Gores said. "That's not a debatable point. It's a first principle."
Pistons point guard Chauncey Billups had strong comments on ESPN Radio's "SVP and Russillo" show, saying there is no way he would have played in Sunday's Game 4 against the Golden State Warriors.
"It's more than basketball," Billups said. "It's bigger than Game 3, or Game 4 or Game 5 of a first-round series.
"Yeah, that's what you play for and you're working for that but, to be honest, if it wasn't for what my grandparents and their parents and their parents went through to make it easier for us to attain these kinds of jobs and be successful in life, I'm probably not here having this kind of success and doing what I'm doing. So I would rather, to be honest with you, take a stand and my teammates be mad with me than have to face my grandparents and my parents and people like that when I have the opportunity to do what was right."
He played for the Clippers in 2011-12 and 2012-13.
"It's really disheartening, to hear what I heard," Billups said. "Really, my stomach was in knots, listening to that conversation. It's crazy. He was always pleasant to me and anybody else around, you know, any of the players. You wouldn't think, what you heard, on that tape . . . at the same time, when you hear that, you gotta say, 'OK, well, that's who he is.'"
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