Hate It or love it: Sterling’s Clippers
Thirty-three years ago, the National Basketball Association allowed Donald Sterling to purchase the then San Diego Clippers. It took some convincing from his old pal the late Jerry Buss, but Donald Sterling became an owner of an NBA franchise in 1981. You’re probably wondering why this is important, and I’ll tell you, but first let’s get a couple things straight.
First of all, Donald Sterling was set up. I don’t know who set him up, but the recorded conversation between Sterling and V. Stiviano is not your typical 80-year-old creep/mistress conversation. What the hell kind of mistress brings up the Holocaust in a conversation with her boyfriend. I also think it’s crazy how politically correct she sounds in the entire recording. She claims to be half-black, but she barely even gets mad when Sterling makes those racist comments to her. I intern for the Clippers, she’s been going to games for the whole season, and I definitely don’t believe that the recording was her first time hearing Sterling make racist remarks.
The second thing we need to establish is that the NBA doesn’t care about you. The NBA doesn’t care about the community. The NBA doesn’t care about white people or black people or brown people. The NBA, like every successful business, only cares for its image. Think for a second, can you think of an instance when any of the four major sports came out and issued a statement that is contrary to popular opinion?
Anyway, after Jerry Buss passed away last year, Donald Sterling became the longest tenured owner in the NBA, and now the NBA wants to oust him as owner. Just so we are clear, I’m in no way suggesting that the comments made by Sterling were acceptable: he should be punished, he should be suspended, and he should be forced to relinquish control of his team, but force the man to sell the house that took him 33 years to build?
For the majority of his 33 years as owner, the Clippers have sucked. Sterling was always viewed as a stingy, nasty old man that no one wanted to play for. No one cared about him though, because the Clippers were losing, but then the Clippers started winning, and the 81-year-old prostate cancer ridden man was finally enjoying the glamour of Hollywood that his friend the late Jerry Buss had his entire life.
Jerry Buss bought the Lakers two years before Sterling bought the Clippers. Unlike Sterling, Buss won an NBA championship his first year as owner, and enjoyed 10 NBA championships in 33 years before his passing. It doesn’t make sense that a man as beloved as Jerry Buss, was good friends with a man as hated as Donald Sterling. There has to be more to this racist old creep.
Unfortunately, it is going to be a long time before any of this settles down and the court makes a final decision on the ownership of the Clippers, but I think it’s only fair that Sterling should have a say in who gets HIS team.