The commissioner told reporters: "We know we're doing the right thing, and I know I have the owners behind me. The proceedings and the process is set out in our constitution, something they signed on for when they became owners in the league.
"We're following it to the letter in terms of numbers of days that Mr Sterling has to respond and then when the hearing will be held, and as I said, I know we're doing the right thing here. This is an unprecedented proceeding.
"Mr Sterling still owns the Los Angeles Clippers. Mrs [Shelly] Sterling, as I understand it, through a trust owns 50& of the team as well. It is their team to sell, and so he knows what the league's point of view is, and so I'm sure if he wanted to sell the team on some reasonable timetable, I'd prefer he sell it than we go through this process."
Sterling was also handed a $2.5m ($1.5m) fine for his comments.