Canadian NBA star Steve Nash praised league commissioner Adam Silver for his decisive response to the controversy involving Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

Sterling was banned for life and fined $2.5 million US by the NBA on Tuesday for racist comments the league says he made in a recorded conversation.

Nash, who plays for the rival L.A. Lakers, spoke as a representative of current NBA players at a press conference assembled by Sacramento mayor and National Basketball Players Association adviser Kevin Johnson.

Nash, from Victoria, thanked Silver for "a quick, unequivocal and concise decision made today on behalf of everyone involved in this situation.

"It begs the bigger question: if racism is a learned behaviour, how long will it go on for," Nash continued. "How long will people be taught to be bigoted, to discriminate and to instill hatred in our communities?

"Lets hope this is an opportunity for all of us ... to help educate and take one step further to eradicating racism in our communities."