Tag Archives: Clippers

The Worst: Donald Sterling racism is nothing new

The firestorm of media coverage since TMZ first “reported” the audio recording of (allegedly) Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his “mistress” V. Stiviano is justified. Despite any recording tomfoolery that may have taken place (there are many layers of shade here), Donald Sterling’s racist comments are undeniably appalling and disturbing. When Adam Silver delivers the potential nuclear option (a provision in the bylaws that allows for the full rescinding of ownership) later this afternoon as many suggest he will, I will support the decision.  What makes this all the more troubling is that Donald Sterling’s racism has been reeking havoc in the Clippers organization and throughout his real estate endeavors for decades and until now, little has been done about it.

Bomani Jones wrote a piece for Page 2 of espn.com titled “Donald Sterling’s racism should be news” back in 2006 and talks about it on yesterday’s Dan Le Batard Show (a worthiest listen). This stuff has been going on for years, so although I appreciate the current outpouring of righteous denouncement, we all must ask ourselves why it is this new recording (potentially part of a extortion plot) and not all of the awful things this man has done before that has inspired such outrage. As a lifelong committed NBA fan, I have always known that Donald Sterling was both a horrific owner and an awful human being. It is hard to imagine that an NBA-lifer like Doc Rivers is just finding out about his owner’s deplorable nature now. Racism coalesces next to our complacency, so we must continue to consciously converse on these subjects in all arenas of our lives. Something has got to change and I wish that it took something other than a sketchy TMZ recording to do so.

Donald Sterling – I hope today is your last day as an owner of an NBA team. You are not welcome in my beloved NBA. Good riddance. Your expulsion has been a long time coming.

UPDATE as of 3:43 PM – Adam Silver initiated the unprecedented nuclear option. Donald Sterling has been banned for life from the NBA and has been fined $2.5 million. Sterling is not allowed “to attend any NBA games or practices, be present at any Clippers office or facility, or participate in any business or player personnel decisions involving the team.” Sterling also will be barred from attending any Board of Governors meetings and participating in any other league activity. It will then take 75 percent of the owners to force Sterling to sell. Silver is confident that he will get the votes.

Some NBA nights matter more than others…

And they do.  Yes, eighty two games is a long season and one off night or one blowout win is not going to make a dramatic standings difference.  Yes, early season marquee matchup games are often over-hyped and over discussed (Who can forget the unnecessary backlash after the first Big Three era Heat game did not go so well in Boston in 2010?).  Yes, sitting through any 76ers game at this point is a punishment that fits somewhere among descriptors “cruel,” “unusual,” and “depressing.”  The NBA regular season has too many games and too many nights that are mere afterthoughts of a much too long season (certainly in terms of games) that doesn’t find its full gallop until closer to the end of the race.  In a season where an average team’s intent to “tank” seems to be as pervasive as any attempts to “win,” this has been a particular problem in the 2013-2014 NBA season.

Last night was an exception to this way too common rule.  Of the three games broadcast nationally on TNT (an NBA Finals Heat vs. Spurs rematch, an LA battle between the Clippers and Lakers) and over the magical NBA League Pass invention (a thrilling offensive showdown between two teams with awkward weather related and plural/singular confused names – Suns and Thunder), one was an extreme blowout that speaks to the Tank-tastic state of the NBA, one was a savvy veteran defensive shutdown that has major big picture implications, and one was a close fought nail-biter that could be a first round playoff preview. Last night in the NBA mattered.  Here’s a quick game by game breakdown of why:

Spurs 111 – Heat 87

Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker

The final score, the most lopsided Heat defeat of the season, was a lot worse than it had to be after the Heat seemed to entirely fall apart in the middle of the fourth quarter.  LeBron may see the “popular with no one” sleeve addition to uniforms as part of the problem, but this does not give enough credit to the unrelenting and consistent excellent basketball that has come out of Tim Duncan and the San Antonio basketball team for the last 15 (!!!) years.  Every year seems to be the time for the Spurs to take a step or two backwards, but as game’s like last night continue to prove, the Spurs will again be in the mix to win an NBA Championship this spring.  After taste testing Duncan and Pop’s fifth title in Game 6 last year (Parker and Ginobili’s fourth) before Ray Allen went all “I am the best three point shooter of all-time for a reason on us,” this may have been the season to finally regress a little bit, but clearly not so fast.  Despite wonderful roster flexibility, a necessity against the Western Conference juggernaut row that they will have to face to get back to the Finals, and more experience playoff experience than any other potential opponent, it is not going to be an easy journey (especially now that Scott Brooks realizes that injured or not, Kendrick Perkins largely injures his team on the floor).  I just hope by now we have learned not to count out the San Antonio Spurs.

Suns 128 – Thunder 122

Gerald Green

Fact: It is March 7.

Fact: The Phoenix Suns are still in position to make the playoffs (currently in the seventh seed and a game and a half out of sixth despite losing Eric Bledsoe to injury for the past two months).

Fact: If you haven’t seen them, the Phoenix Suns are one of the most entertaining teams to watch play basketball.

Fact: According to the people who talk and write about the NBA for a living, Jeff Hornacek is the frontrunner to win Coach of the Year.

Fact: According to the people who talk and write about the NBA for a living, Goran Dragic is a legitimate third-place vote for MVP after LeBron and Durant.

Fact: Gerald Green had the following stat line last night: 41 minutes, 12-22 shooting, 8-13 from three, 9-11 on free throws, 41 points.  Again, this a fact (Yes it is 2014 and yes this is not some alternate universe in which the former Slam Dunk champion has become a perennial All-Star.  Yes, this is still Gerald Green).

Clippers 142 – Lakers 94 (and it wasn’t even that close)

la-sp-clippers-lakers-20140307

In case math is not your forté, the Clippers beat the Lakers last night by 48 points (Wesley Johnson had a -40 +/-).  The neo-rivalry that had been a little feisty since David Stern dictated the end of the Chris Paul to Lakers trade a few years ago officially blew up in this Tank-errific demolition clinic.  These aren’t your NBA Champion Lakers and maybe even more so, these aren’t your cursed, Donald Sterling owned Clippers.  The balance of power in LA professional basketball reached the most extreme polarity it its history last night.  These Clippers are a legitimate threat in the West.