(New York, NY)  --  The NBA is banning Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life after racist comments were attributed to him over the weekend.  He is also being fined $2.5 million.  The penalties come just hours before the Clippers are set to host the Golden State Warriors in Game Five of their playoff series in Los Angeles.   An audio recording was leaked over the weekend in which Sterling is allegedly heard telling his girlfriend not to associate publicly with African-Americans or bring them to Clippers games. 

The comments have drawn harsh reaction from past and present NBA stars, including Magic Johnson and LeBron James.  It's not the first time Sterling has been the subject of controversy.  In 2009, he was fined more than two-million dollars in a housing discrimination lawsuit.  In 2011, he won a lawsuit filed by former Clippers GM Elgin Baylor, who accused the team of firing him based on age.  Sterling also previously settled with a former employee who accused him of sexual harassment.  He has owned the Clippers since 1981.