|Seriously, why not?|
I had half-expected this, and was skeptical of the effect of Adam Silver's declared penalties.
Now, for a conspiracy angle.
Suppose that Adam Silver knew exactly how his harsh penalties were going to play out. That while placating the enraged internets, Magic Johnson and other assorted offended people, Silver knew that what he did really was not legally tenable. That he could not impose a punishment stricter than anything else in the NBA (lifetime ban + 2.5 million fine + forced sale of a billion dollar franchise), but he did so anyway because it appeared just, and soothing to a vengeful palate.
I'd think that such would be diabolically clever and the work of an evil genius. Is it really that far-fetched? After all, if Sterling prevails, or dies while protracting this fight out, thereby allowing his heirs to retain control, all Silver has to do is express frustration at our laws and he'll gain even more sympathy.
In other words, Silver looks like a hero for actually giving Sterling an assist. Ironic when you consider that one of the greatest assist-men in the history of the game, Magic, is in the midst of this sordid mess.