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Grousbeck Believes NBA Owners Need To Hold Themselves To Higher Standards

DEDHAM (CBS) – Several owners of professional franchises have rightfully come under fire over a tumultuous past few months.

Much of the focus has been on the recent streak of troubles in the NFL world, but the NBA has had their share of issues as well. Donald Sterling was forced to sell his Los Angeles Clippers after racist comments surfaced in a recording in the spring. Atlanta Hawks majority owner Michael Levenson is currently in the process of selling his majority stake of the team after he authored an email that contained questionable descriptions about the Hawks fan base.

Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck reflected on those issues today before teeing off at the Dedham Country Club in a fundraiser for the Shamrock Foundation, noting the effect the last few months has had on him.

"It reminds me that we have a job here as a pro team to sort of set an example," Grousbeck said. "And maybe even a higher standard just because kids look up to us, and we're trying to set those examples every day. It reminds us all, I think, in pro sports that we've got to use our positions wisely and finish everything through. We just finished all of our sensitivity, diversity, anti-harassment training – a serious training – early spring this year, right before the Donald Sterling thing all came out. We do that every year, but we're going to have to stay on our guard and make sure we do the best they can."

Grousbeck isn't the only one who wants to take a close look at the NBA's procedures. At a community service event in New York City earlier this week, NBA commissioner Adam Silver admitted he has kept a close eye on the developments in the football world.

"We learn from other league's experiences. We're studying everything that's been happening in the NFL," Silver told reporters Monday at the league's community service initiative in New York City. "We're working with our players' association and new executive director Michele Roberts. We've been talking for several weeks, and we're going to take a fresh look at everything we do."

Silver added: "The whole world's focused right now on what's happening around the NFL, so it would be foolish for us not to try to learn from everything that's happening with that league."

So when exactly might we see some change go into effect in the NBA world? Grousbeck provided a hint that it may come before next season even begins.

"I think every league is probably speaking (about changing policies)," Grousbeck declared. "We have three-day owner's meetings in early October down in New York. I'm sure that will be a topic. I think we all know we're held to a high standard. It's up to us to live up to it."

Brian Robb covers the Celtics for CBS Boston and contributes to, among other media outlets. You can follow him on Twitter @CelticsHub.


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