I have no doubt that there is conspiration to push him out. Sterling has a long history of discrimination and franchise mismanagement. But insofar as the NBA is a private corporation, it can do pretty much what it wants, whether evidence was introduced legally or illegally. The first amendment cannot be invoked here. I have mentioned the example of an employee being fired for a facebook posting. How often has that happened? Is it ethical or legal? No, but it does happen because the act of employment is a consensual agreement and in this regard, Sterling's participation in the NBA was contingent on his abiding by the NBA constitution, which presumably includes a personal code conduct which he clearly has violated. So, IMO, the NBA and its owners do have ground to push him out.