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Joe Ovies

NBA didn't want Sterling reputation

Posted April 30, 2014

In the end, it bothered the NBA a lot that Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling wanted to broadcast he was associated with their league.

Commissioner Adam Silver didn't want it publicized on the Instagram, or any other form of media, and no longer wanted Sterling's baggage brought to his games.

The commissioner served up a lifetime ban from the NBA and a $2.5 million fine after a recorded conversation outing Sterling as a societal fossil. Despite Sterling's protestations to FOX News that his franchise wasn't for sale, Silver expects the NBA Board of Governors to force an unloading of the Clippers.

The decision to drop the hammer on Sterling has been universally praised by NBA owners, coaches, players, media and fans. Being contrarian on the matter simply puts you in the position of having to defend a racist, and nobody in their right mind wants that kind of attention at the height of trendy faux outrage.

Instead, periphery points of departure using false equivalencies and First Amendment rights emerged in the discourse as a roundabout way of showing dissent.

Silver shut down this flimsy predicament during Tuesday's press conference, saying "whether or not these remarks were initially shared in private, they are now public, and they represent his views.”

The only thing more 'Merican than the First Amendment is money, and Sterling finally did something to mess it up for the NBA.

Those corporate dollars didn't dry up after Sterling settled lawsuits that alleged his real estate companies discriminated against minorities, which included some racial doozies in sworn testimony. The sponsorships didn't go away after NBA Hall of Famer and former Clippers general manager Elgin Baylor accused Sterling of having a “vision of a Southern plantation-type structure” for the franchise. The money was still there after sexual harassment claims.

And the other NBA owners didn't sweat it because the embarrassment was contained to the Clippers. The organization held a special designation of being the biggest dumpster fire in professional sports. Sterling and his team were a joke, tucked away in a building behind the largess of the Los Angeles Lakers.

But once they had high profile players like Chris Paul and Blake Griffin? Once the Clippers started winning and making the playoffs? Sterling's personal problems could no longer be hidden.

The First Amendment doesn't protect individuals from criticism and consequences. It doesn't protect folks who have embarrassed or threatened to torch the reputation of a private enterprise. The NBA has its own set of bylaws that gave Silver the right to kick Sterling out for those very reasons and seperate the the league from the source of scandal. Silver had to clean up a mess the previous commissioner and other owners allowed to fester for a decade.

It is amusing to see the tipping point in Sterling's world was his displeasure with a girlfriend and not because of all the other times his bizarre thinking was on display for all of us to see. It's a point not lost on ESPN personality Bomani Jones, who wrote about Sterling's racism back in 2006 and reiterated his problems with how the story has been handled with Dan Le Batard on ESPN Radio earlier this week.

Now, who is ready for some actual basketball?

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  • Doc Holliday May 3, 2014

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    There is a definite double standard in this country. Pretty obvious! Racism is racism & should not be tolerated at all. If you really expect race relations to improve, you have to be willing to apply the same rules to everybody. Otherwise, you're gonna have a problem. I've been on the receiving end of some racial stuff in the past so my opinions are based on personal experiences. In fact, I was involved in a brawl in my 20s after this dude decided to go racial & call me "white boy" during a hoops game in a local gym. Told him to eat "stuff" & it was on. I came out of that situation pretty good under the circumstances (got jumped after he came at me & it didn't go his way). Others would not have been so lucky. You're kidding yourself if you think whites are the only racists on this planet. All races have their share of d-bags & you can bank it.

  • Doc Holliday May 3, 2014

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    +1

  • gregoryrjones May 2, 2014

    Agreed. I think he wanted to do something but was powerless, but I don't think he expected this to fall in his lap like it did. When he said that Sterling's past had nothing to do with his sentence, the first thing I said to myself was, "why don't I believe him?"

  • uBnice May 1, 2014

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    As the former commisioner's right hand man for over 10 years, Silver has known about Sterling. Silver delivered the "banned...for life" as if he has been waiting for this moment.

  • gregoryrjones May 1, 2014

    I Blame David Stern for this. It took Adam Silver about 89 days to do what he didn't in thirty years. Adam should not have had to clean up his mess but, he did.

    I guess he'll be cleaning up the mess Stern made in Seattle too.

  • uBnice Apr 30, 2014

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    You are the masters of this country. The Kings. The chosen ones. Act like it. Show some leadership.

  • Whistling Dixie Apr 30, 2014

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    Well, just white people.Others that spew racism like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson profit in their business's preaching the destruction of the white man.

  • uBnice Apr 30, 2014

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    Cry me a river! You are just too sensitive. Toughen up.

  • Whistling Dixie Apr 30, 2014

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    Well not quite. The intent is to totally silence white people and their beliefs and opinions, especially Conservative ones. Everybody else is free to carry on hating white people and doing as they please. See Louis Farrakhan.

  • uBnice Apr 30, 2014

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    What about some guy/girl blasting some Miley Cyrus song that uses all types of lewd and lascivious words over and over?

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