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Chris Paul: NBA's sanctions against Suns owner Sarver 'fell short'

Chris Coduto / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Phoenix Suns star Chris Paul publicly criticized the punishment levied by the NBA on his team's owner Robert Sarver, deeming that Sarver's one-year suspension and $10-million fine "fell short" of the necessary discipline.

Paul's comments follow similar remarks also issued on social media Wednesday by Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James, who said the NBA "definitely got this wrong" by penalizing Sarver too leniently.

An ESPN story published in November alleged multiple incidents of Sarver using racist language, making misogynistic comments, and fostering a toxic workplace culture since purchasing the Suns and the Phoenix Mercury in 2004.

In response to the report, the league asked an outside firm to conduct an investigation into the 60-year-old team owner. The 10-month probe involved interviews with 320 participants - many of them current and former Suns employees.

The inquiry confirmed that Sarver had used racist and sexually inappropriate language, among other instances of workplace misconduct. Commissioner Adam Silver said Wednesday, however, that he was considering a lengthier suspension for Sarver had the investigating firm not determined that Sarver's conduct "was not motivated by racial animus."

"Indefensible is not strong enough," Silver said of the investigation's findings.

Neither Silver, Paul, nor James specified exactly what stricter punishment Sarver could or should have faced. In April 2014, Silver banned former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling from the NBA for life after audio recordings were released of Sterling making racist comments.

Silver said Wednesday that the two cases were different as "Mr. Sarver ultimately acknowledged his behavior."

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