TMZ, NBC News got it wrong: NBA bans Sterling, will force sale of Clippers

The NBA banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life and will force a sale of his team after determining Sterling disparaged blacks on a leaked recording.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver also imposed a $2.5 million fine on Sterling. Silver announced the penalties Tuesday at a press conference.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver at a press conference Tuesday. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Even before the official statement, TMZ reported that a suspension was coming, saying the “buzz” was that “they will slap Donald with a one year suspension or an indefinite suspension.” TMZ also reported “Sterling will NOT be forced to sell the team.”

TMZ wasn’t the only outlet that flubbed it. NBC News reported in a since-deleted tweet:

NBC then corrected itself on both the suspension and amount of the fine:

In a statement a few hours later, NBC said it got its inaccurate information from “high-level NBA sourcing.” On the air, David Gregory said, “Our initial reporting was shy of what Silver ultimately decided.”

TMZ first posted the audio recording that caused all this. The scoop by the entertainment website further established it as a serious source of major stories.

But being first doesn’t always guarantee accuracy, as media organizations know too well.

Correction: An earlier version of this story mistakenly located the press conference at the Staples Center. It was held in New York.

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  • Badger Babe Madison WI

    You say NBC and TMZ “got it wrong.” Is is possible the two organizations reported the best information they could get at a particular point in time? It’s almost as though a particular joy is taken when sharing this information. And while such pronouncements may be correct (depending on circumstances), sometimes it seems more childish and self-serving than an important pronouncement.

  • garygnu08260

    So funny to see Poynter in it’s death grip of “journalism days past”….as it throws a modern day news outlet under the bus. TMZ peeps broke the story. They own it. They can preface with “buzz” in the oments leading up to the announcement…. Now, you poynterheads, go git your bryle cream and your vapors…and go listen to Orson Welles on the rah-dee-oh. (I guess you guys have to legitimize your salaries some how…)

  • http://www.poynter.org Poynter

    Thanks, Chad, we corrected the story. — Sandee

  • chad

    LOL while Poynter wants to blast them for getting facts wrong in a breaking news situation, they are getting the facts wrong way after the fact. Silver did not announce this at the Staples Center, why would he do that? He announced it in NYC, where the NBA league office is.

    Time for your correction.