So long Don Sterling.
The NBA Commissioner Adam Silver came down hard on the rogue owner of the Los Angeles Clippers a little while ago. He had little choice as the outrage over Sterling's taped comments about African Americans has gone not just viral, but nuclear.
At the moment, Mr. Sterling still owns the team, but cannot participate in either it's operations, or the league's for the rest of his unnatural life. In addition, he is forbidden to attend any games and must pay a $2.5 million fine.
According to an NBC report, in order to sell the team out from under him, Silver needs the support of three fourths of the league owners. No doubt the Commissioner wants this clown as far away from the game as possible, but even if he gets the necessary votes everyone is looking at a legal quagmire which could last decades. Huge numbers of lawyers are lining up at a couple of doors as I type and every last one of them is expecting a big pay day.
The first and foremost problem is Sterling himself. The man loves to tie things up in courts for years. The feds have been after him since 2009 on housing discrimination charges and the case is still pending because of his delaying tactics. Second, his estranged spouse, Rochelle is apparently heavily involved with the club's operation and she hasn't been accused of anything, other than perhaps rotten judgement when it comes to her marriage. The bottom line is it will likely take an army of litigators to sort out all the civil ramifications involved with taking the team from not just, Don, but his wife--especially if she files for divorce and gets half his share of the club in the settlement.
The scandal has attracted a ground swell of skeptics who are hinting, not too subtlety, Big Don was set up by his girlfriend/companion/fantasy sugar baby. Actually, Ms. V. Stiviano is a bit of a mystery. Some reports label her as a model. FOX sports says her, "bio," lists her occupations as, "artist, lover, writer, chef, poet, stylist, and philanthropist." It is unclear where FOX discovered the "bio," but such an eclectic group of professions does make her sound a little iffy.
A quick look didn't turn up a Wikipedia page referencing her and every other web mention of Stiviano had to do with the leaked tape which screwed Don so completely. In addition, Rochelle is suing her for the return of gifts Don lavished on her, including four autos and a duplex, coincidently a figure which comes to $2.5 million.
A couple of conspiracy theorists are contending, Earvin, "Magic" Johnson is orchestrating the whole affair because he wants to buy the Clippers on the cheap. As everyone knows, he was in the Stiviano instagram photo which pushed Sterling over the edge. As weird as the accusation sounds, Johnson felt the need to issue a denial he was interested in buying the franchise.
Of course, even if it was a set up, the evil fuck said what he said. Criminal entrapment is one thing, being baited into speaking your feeble mind and exposing your attitudes toward an entire race of people is another altogether.
Luckily for Adam Silver the scandal hit just a couple of months after he took over command of the league. Now he'll be able to dodge some questions which will be directed toward former Commish, David Stern. As more than a few people have noted, Sterling's attitude, at least toward potential tenants, has been public knowledge for years. When it comes to the NBA, basketball legend and former Clipper employee, Elgin Baylor made some pointed attacks on his boss's views regarding African Americans in a law suit he filed against Sterling in 2009. That was all during Stern's watch and he didn't do a thing to censure the guy.
To take it a step further, Stern put the kibosh on a trade between New Orleans and the L.A. Lakers which involved the league's premier point guard, Chris Paul. Then, after some negotiations the, then Hornets, traded Paul to Sterling's Clippers. At the time the New Orleans team didn't have a viable owner and was being controlled by the league itself. In other words, Stern okay'd the final deal, which had a direct and positive impact on the Clippers and Sterling's pocketbook.
Yes, there is going to be some serious soul searching and more than one reputation will go down in flames before this is over. Stern's legacy is now open for debate. The NAACP barely dodged a bullet--for some unfathomable reason they were within an inch of giving this cretin a "life time achievement award."
Our pal Rush Limbaugh claimed Sterling is a "Hollywood democrat" and no one would be howling for his head if he had only kicked a big contribution to Barack Obama during the last presidential election. As usual, Brother Limbaugh had his facts wrong. Although Sterling was a democrat once and contributed money to a handful of democrats in the past, the L.A. county registrar's office shows he became a republican in 1998.
Not that it matters.
As Keith Olbermann tweeted the other day, "I don't care what political party he belongs to. He is still a pig."