The 2014 NBA playoffs left Adam Silver handling his toughest test as NBA commissioner just a few months into the job.
TMZ published a phone recording of Clippers owner Donald Sterling going on a racist rant to his mistress V. Stiviano. Sterling had been a black stain on the NBA for his entire history as Clippers owner, but the recording put Silver on the clock.
The players wanted Sterling thrown out of the league for good post-haste.
While the Sterling tape was dominating the headlines, the Clippers and Warriors were locked in a hotly contested first-round playoff series. Ahead of Game 5 at Staples Center, Warriors general manager Bob Myers called team president Rick Welts to tell him the players were prepared to make a stand if Silver's punishment wasn't up to snuff.
"These guys are going to walk off the floor,'" Welts recalled to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne. "He was with the team that morning and said the vibe around the team -- maybe both teams -- was that if this doesn't go the way the players want it to go that they could walk out on the floor and then walk right off and not play the game that night."
Former Warriors forward Andre Iguodala was more than ready to take a stand if Silver lacked the conviction to do what was necessary.
"I was all-in. Like shut down the whole season," Iguodala said. "Maybe that was too far, but as far as that game that day, you can reschedule it, you gotta sort this thing out, because there's some deep-rooted stuff with him that had to be addressed."
Draymond Green told NBC Sports Bay Area's Logan Murdock that the boycott was a full-go.
"I remember everybody talking like if Adam Silver don't come down with a tough enough post and we don't think it's right, we're not playing tonight," Green said.
Had the Clippers and Warriors elected not to play Game 5, it's a moment that would have gone down as one of the most important and momentous acts in sports history and in the overall arc of the fight for social justice and equality in America.
"If we didn't play," former Clipper Jamal Crawford said, "I think that honestly it would have outlived us. They would be talking about that while we're not here anymore.
"It's never happened. At that magnitude, at that level."
The stand, as you know, was not needed.
Silver stood in front of the world and banned Sterling from the NBA for life, leading to him selling the team to Steve Ballmer.
The Clippers went on to win the series in seven games.