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Your Morning Dump… Where Sterling’s racism may have ruined the Clippers

John - Red's Army (@RedsArmy_John) April 28, 2014 Around the NBA, The Morning Dump 38 Comments

clippers protest

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

Clippers players made a silent protest against Sterling by shedding their warm-up jerseys and going through the pregame routine with their red shirts on inside out. They also wore black bands on their wrists or arms and black socks in a show of solidarity.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers said he knew what his players had planned but didn’t voice his opinion. He said he wasn’t thrilled about the demonstration, though he didn’t elaborate why.

[…] “I just thought they were the tougher team and it wasn’t even close. Should have been a first round knockout,” Rivers said.

[…] “Maybe our focus wasn’t in the right place would be the easiest way to say it,” Clippers guard J.J. Redick said.

[…] “We’re going home now, and usually that would mean we’re going to our safe haven,” Rivers said. “And I don’t even know if that’s true.”

CSNNE:  Rivers displeased with Clippers protest

The Clippers came out for their game yesterday in full warmups, but then tossed those warmups on the ground and continued on the rest of the game in logo-less warmup tops.  It’s definitely an attention getter, which is probably why Doc is upset about it.

Here you have a team that is suddenly focused on how much of a racist asshole their owner is rather than playing a pretty tough opponent in the Golden State Warriors.  When the first thing they did out of the tunnel has to do with Sterling instead of Golden State, I’m sure Doc knew it would be tough to get his team ready.

That game was never in doubt.  The Clippers basically boycotted the game while playing it.  And now your head coach is outwardly wondering if going home to play game 5 in a tied series is worth it.

If the NBA is going to have its precious Los Angeles television market in play for more than one round, they need to remove Sterling from the equation.  And trust me, that’s going to be a consideration.  I know the Bay Area market is a big market too, but it’s not LA.

Beyond that Doc isn’t exactly keen on the idea of coming back next season to work for Sterling.

With so many NBA players around the league saying they wouldn’t play for controversial Clippers owner Donald Sterling in the wake of racist comments he allegedly made, Rivers was asked if he needed to hear something from someone within the organization in order for him to continue working for Sterling.

“Don’t know yet,” Rivers responded. “I’m just going to leave it at that.”

It’s taken a while for his racism to bite him in the ass, but this might finally be it.  And let’s be real here, public embarrassment is the only punishment left that’s worth a shit.  He’s going to die super-rich, and he’ll only get even more money if he has to sell the Clippers.  He’s not going to stop being racist, he’ll just say things differently.

But the public shame of causing your championship contender’s collapse and the loss of your newly signed coach/GM?  There’s no escaping that.  There’s no shirking the stigma of being SO racist, you ruined something for everyone in such grand fashion.

Is it just punishment?  No, probably not.  But it’s the best punishment available, so we should use it.

I just wish Clippers fans could organize a protest where they all sell their game 5 tickets to Warriors fans.  How great would that be?  For the Clippers to show up and see a sea of gold shirts in their own house?  It won’t happen, but it would be great to see.

Related links: Globe:  Words linked to Sterling drawing outcry  |  CSNNE:  NBA can’t ignore Sterling anymore  |  Blakely: Sterling’s comments hurt on many levels

Page 2:  Nets fans are still getting the hang of this

Michael K. Williams, a.k.a. “Omar” from The Wire took the court last night to do the Nets intros.  He immediately opened with a shot at Donald Sterling too, and then he started with the intros.

I don’t know if it was the audio or what, but…..  I’m not feeling the crazy “fans pumped for Game 4″ vibe here.  Maybe they had a feeling that a massive 4th quarter collapse was coming later in the game or something.

I can only imagine what was going through Kevin Garnett’s mind.  He’s already had to implore the fans to get pumped once, don’t make him have to do it again for game 6.

The rest of the links:

Herald:  Plenty of Celtics options in top-heavy draft  |  ESPN Boston:  Report card: Phil Pressey

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  • Curt Hays

    I really hope Magic Johnson buys the Clippers. Then I want Larry Bird to buy the Pacers. Thank you Donald Sterling for bringing the NBA nation closer together.

    • adam

      and move them back to san diego?

      • Curt Hays

        Or Seattle

        • adam

          I rather see the Seattle team come back then have another team in Cali.

    • Jaedre

      i agree…

  • RedsLoveChild

    Magic Johnson : “I will never attend another Clipper game as long as Sterling owns the team.”

    Wasn`t that Sterling`s exact wish on the taped recording?!?

    • LA Flake

      Personally, I find people’s overreaction to Sterling’s private conversation more pathetic than Sterling himself.

      We must have no other important things going on in this country to be putting so much focus on this.

    • CFH

      I thought that was Magic’s point. You want it, you got it. See how well it works out for you.

      • RedsLoveChild

        This should be Magic`s “game plan” for Game 5 :

        First, there is no way in hell Sterling will be in attendance. Second, given that Magic has more “connections” than anyone in the history of that city…he should show up for Game 5 and sit in a front seat. The crowd would go insane!

  • LA Flake

    Seems like we can’t go a week without people screaming “RACIST” these days. WHAT? We have racists in this multiracial country?? Oh, NO! I CAN’T BELIEVE IT! WHAAAATTT???!!! And they’re expressing their views in private?!? HOW DARE THEY!!! Let’s OUTLAW them! Let’s make thinking and feelings illegal!

    What a bunch of f*cking blowhards.

    Ageists, sexists, homophobes, Islamaphobes, phobephobes: YOU’RE NEXT!
    (and just to be safe, let’s round up every white person over 70 and take their personal properties because chances are, they’re probably racists)

    • hj

      Amen!

  • Rich Jensen

    You can’t shame Sterling. He doesn’t care. He flat out doesn’t care. That’s why Stern never got anywhere with him. If Stern had been a good commissioner interested in leaving behind a strong league, bylaws and rules would’ve been written enabling league owners to muzzle Sterling–to suspend him from day-to-day operations, to fine him, etc.

    But that was never Stern’s M.O. Stern was all about arrogating power in his office and his person. And he wasn’t equipped to deal with Sterling. You can’t shame Sterling and you can’t bully him, and shame and bullying were the only tools in the DJS toolbox.

    All you can do, at this point, is hope that he takes the money and runs.

    And when you get irritated by how much money he’s going to make, you can thank DJS for that too. Had Sterling been forced out after any of his numerous earlier instances of detrimental conduct, he wouldn’t have turned the 10,000% profit he’s going to net from this deal.

    • LA Flake

      Rich,
      what Sterling said is horrible. BUT…
      What right does anyone have to muzzle him? What right does anyone have to suspend him from running an organization he OWNS? What, we must punish those who express their views in private now? And take away their right to make a living if they express something in private that we don’t like?

      I don’t get it. And what is this outpouring of jealousy towards Sterling’s wealth? He’s worth BILLIONS with or without the Clippers. The Clippers can go to hell tomorrow and he’ll still be worth tens of billions of dollars. Why is that driving everyone so mad? Yeah, we have rich people in this country who are a$$holes. Welcome to the real world!

      • Rich Jensen

        Last point first: Sterling is not worth ‘billions’, Forbes estimates net worth is something like $1.9B–with the Clips valued at $430M. If he were to sell the Clips for a billion to the Guggenheim Partners, that would represent a not inconsequential bump in his net worth.

        Now, to the rest of your post:
        1) Sterling is a public figure, and public figures less right to privacy than you and I: http://www.leagle.com/decision/in%20fdco%2020100901c09 (note section E).

        2) A person who expresses a viewpoint to another person has zero ‘right’ to claim that the communication was private or confidential under most circumstances (Stiviano is not his shrink, his attorney, his minister or his wife.)

        3) One’s right to speak freely must be respected (within legally accepted bounds) by the government. A private enterprise may restrict speech to the extent that it damages their business (again, within legally accepted bounds). The same legal precedent that allows the NBA to fine Mark Cuban for exercising his ‘right’ to criticize refs applies here.

        Finally, one should be careful not to confuse ‘rights’ with ‘privileges’. None of us has the ‘right’ to own an NBA team. Or the ‘right’ to say whatever we wish, without accepting consequences from private entities. If I walk into the local grocery store wearing a KKK outfit, beating a bass drum, and shouting racist epithets, I can be forcibly removed by the police because I have no ‘right’ to do that in that location.

        Similarly, Sterling has no right to privacy as regards his communications to Stiviano, substantially less right to privacy generally, due to his public stature, and regardless of his rights of privacy, he does not have the ‘right’ to dodge such consequences as the NBA deems fit and which are supported by a court of law.

        • LA Flake

          Recording any conversation without the other person’s knowledge or consent is illegal. Only our government is allowed to break the law and invade our privacy. /sarc

          But I don’t want to get into whether this is legal or illegal. The bottom line is that this was a private phone conversation he had with his mistress. Who is black. There are all sort of factors in play here. None of which is our business. But
          let’s suppose it is our business. How does his words hurt you, me or anyone else? The only person who’ll end up getting hurt, if we’re living in a sane, smarter world, is Sterling himself because sane and smart people will simply choose not to buy his products. But NO. Al Sharpton has to get his snitch ass involved. Obama weighs in because he can’t think of anything better to do. Our media is treating this is like #OMG #THEBIGGESTNEWSEVER!

          I don’t care for people who say dumb s#it. But I am for free speech. Sterling’s words hurt no one. Oh yeah, some folks might’ve gotten their feelings hurt but he’s not worth all this manufactured outrage.

          • Rich Jensen

            - Recording the conversation was illegal. Relating the contents of the conversation to the media would not be illegal.

            – Sterling’s words hurt the NBA’s business. Which is why the NBA has a legally protected right to act in this matter.

          • LA Flake

            Sterling’s words hurt HIS business. The NBA overall is doing great. My only advice to those who are butt hurt from Sterling’s words: Don’t be so goddamn sensitive. And don’t be so goddamn PC. Let people be who they are. You don’t have to go along with it if you don’t like it.

            Oh, yeah. Larry Johnson, a NYK executive, just came out and called for an all-black league.
            http://nypost.com/2014/04/27/knicks-great-larry-johnson-calls-for-all-black-league/

            OMAGAAAAAHHHHHD I CAN’T BELIEVE HE SAID THIS I AM ABOUT TO FAINT AND I AM SO ANGRY I THINK I’LL PUNCH THE NEXT BLACK PERSON I SEE OH WAIT I’LL JUST STOP LISTENING TO JAYZ THAT’LL TEACH THEM OH I FORGOT I NEVER LISTENED TO HIS MUSIC OR HIS WIFE’S OH WHAT DO I DO WHAT DO I DO WHERE’S MY PRESIDENT OH I KNOW LET’S PROTEST AND VILIFY EVERYONE WHO DOESN’T AGREE WITH MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

          • Rich Jensen

            The value of the Clippers is inextricably tied to the value of the league as a whole.

          • hj

            any white person that even mentions a black person in the slightest of demeaning ways gets crucified when a black person can say whatever they want without anyone saying a peep! now tell me! where is the racism???? not supporting sterling or anything just casting some light on how the media and people react to things

          • jrleftfoot

            “Casting some light.” Pompous nonsense.

          • hj

            please explain how what i said was “Pompous nonsense” if you are accusing me of racism you are mistaken. Jay-Z wore a medallion to a game recently that represented the “5% nation” if you dont know what that is then look it up, it is basically the black version of the KKK. and what does the NBA say about this?? NOTHING!!!! he made a PUBLIC statement with that and the NBA instead chooses to attack the man who had an illegally taped PRIVATE conversation with his girlfriend!!! I am not saying that sterlings comments in any way are acceptable, but if we are going to wage war against racists than why dont we hold everybody accountable!!

          • Herman Bubbert

            So many things to respond to in this thread.

            But you can’t fix stupid, so why bother?

            Carry on, Sterling defenders.

          • jrleftfoot

            false equivalencies are so persuasive…Oh , but Jay-Z`s medallion! –lol. A guy on another site had the cojones to refer to the ” lynching” of Donald Sterling. You`re right . There is no cure for stupid.

          • jrleftfoot

            The same old ” reverse racism” drivel is , in my ever so humble opinion, pompous nonsense .Dragging Jay-Z`s medallion into it is even more nonsensical. Sterling has a long history of racism, including discriminating against minorities as his capacityas a slum landlord. The impulse to defend the poor beknighted multi-billionaire is coming from somewhere , but far be it from me to presume to know your motivation. I guess all those capital letters and exclamation marks are meant to convey a sense of calm reasonableness.

          • hj

            I am in no way defending sterling, I am simply pointing out the lack of fairness present in this situation. If you disagree, than your entitled to your own opinion. I have no love for sterling, I never have and his most recent comments have made me love him even less. I was using Jay-Z’s medallion to reinforce the point that the “war on racism” is only targeting one side. If you still disagree than so be it but i do not wish to spark a debate on a comment train of a sports blog.

        • RedsLoveChild

          1} Every person {public figure or not} enjoys a “reasonable expectation of privacy”.

          In California {along with 11 other states}, it is illegal to record conversations W/O the prior consent of all parties. The one exception is if the conversation occurs in public, where there is little {if any} reasonable expectation of privacy.

          If she recorded those phone discussions W/O Sterling`s knowledge, they are private…and she could face 1 year behind bars. {I am a California attorney}.

          2} Jay-Z paid roughly $5M to become a part-owner of the Nets. Earlier this month, he sat in the front row at a Nets` game, wearing an over-sized medallion around his neck of the 5% Nation…an Islamic organization that openly holds that White people are “Weak, Wicked, and Devils”.

          Where was the outrage?

          • Rich Jensen

            Since you are a California attorney, you understand that Stiviano could have relayed the content of those conversations to a media outlet, and that Sterling could not claim that she was barred from doing so by his right to privacy.

            That the conversations were taped is not germane to the question of whether Sterling had a right to believe that his comments would never be revealed to the public.

          • RedsLoveChild

            Relayed the “content”? In other words, had she merely handed a typed transcript of Sterling`s words to the media?

            Those would merely be meaningless words on a piece of paper. Why would the media have any interest in that? How could they verify those were the words of Sterling?

            She delivered the “actual” tapes. His voice is identifiable to those who know him, including members of the media. It sounds like an 80 year old guy, who refers to “his team”.

            The world knows it`s Sterling…since he would`ve come forward by now and denied that was his voice.

          • Rich Jensen

            That’s not the point. LA Flake insisted that the conversation itself was private. It was not.

            Also, it’s entirely possible that Sterling’s comments would’ve been subject to some media coverage, even in written form, given that his salacious 2003 deposition transcript got a fair bit of coverage.

            What if Stiviano took down the Magic instagram and posted an instgram pic & message saying, “Don Sterling told me to take down my pic of Magic because he doesn’t want me to be seen with black people.” That would’ve ended up on TMZ, etc.

            But, you’re probably right that the coverage would not be on this scale.

            Also, it’s pretty easy to avoid being pilloried for making racist comments……………

          • RedsLoveChild

            I`m not clear why you feel that a famous person must surrender every aspect of their personal privacy…including their right to engage in a private conversation.

            Sterling`s 2003 deposition transcript would have contained testimony given by him under oath. It would`ve been part of a lawsuit, and lawsuits are public record.

            What he said to his “girlfriend” certainly was not under oath, transcribed by a certified court recorder. She also would not have been under oath if she stated that Sterling ordered her to remove her photos. They would merely be unsubstantiated, unprovable, he said/she said allegations.

          • Rich Jensen

            You should know that *none of us* have a right to privacy regarding conversations that are not privileged. If I tell you I think Bob Smith is a turd, and you tell him I said that, what’s my recourse? I have none. NDAs exist because as a general rule, communications are not protected from disclosure.

            Also, the media wouldn’t care if some putative Instagram accusation of Sterling was not under oath, whereas his testimony in 2003 was.

          • RedsLoveChild

            True, in your Bob Smith matter there would be no “legal or monetary” recourse. There would be no basis for a lawsuit. Gossip and personal betrayal are simply an accepted and unenjoyable part of life.

            Your only recourse would be “street justice”, by doing the same to the one who betrayed you, or just disassociating with them.

            As for the Instagram…the media has an obligation to check their sources. They cannot “recklessly” publish libelous info about a famous person. Having said that, the famous person being victimized must decide if he really wants to sue, since it would only bring more attention and publicity to the accusations.

          • Rich Jensen

            If Stiviano accused Sterling of racist opinions on Instagram that would be different from a media outlet accusing Sterling of racist opinions. The facts needing verification would differ.

            AFAIK, if a media outlet were breaking this story, based on Stiviano’s claims (as opposed to a recorded conversation), a cursory examination of Sterling’s history would show a pattern of allegations delivered under oath, and that would meet most editors’ standards for due diligence. Of course, you’d also need to request a statement from Sterling.

          • RedsLoveChild

            Sterling`s racist rep always “enters the room” before he does, but that coupled with an unreliable source {Stiviano} and w/o any verification is not enough to run this story.

            TMZ broke this story…and, despite their informal/unorthodox nature, they are a reliable/respectable news source in 2014. Celebs never sue them, primarily because their reporting is accurate, and the truth is the ultimate libel defense.

            TMZ would not report with this story W/O being able to air the tape of Sterling`s rant along with it.

            If no tape existed, Sterling would issue a strong denial… saying she vengefully making this up because he`s suing her for embezzlement, and that would carry a strong “ring of truth” to it.

          • Rich Jensen

            Also, ‘earlier this month’, Jay-Z was not a part owner of the Nets: http://www.netsdaily.com/2013/9/28/4780466/jason-kidds-investment-in-nets-barclays-is-tiny

  • bill_nair

    Doc, CP3 and Blake leave next season, the Clippers lose 50+ games, here comes 2 lotto picks. Danny your a genius!

    • frickenWaaaltah

      http://hoopshype.com/salaries/la_clippers.htm

      Well, CP3 and Griffin are under contract till 2017 with player options for 2018. And actually, most of their current rotation is under contract at least through 2016.

      Still, the back of their roster is free to go this summer, and that does include some significant assets like Danny Granger, Hedo, Stephen Jackson, maybe Glen Davis and Darren Collison if they ditch player options, etc.

      So if Sterling does dig in and fight, it could cost the Clips a chance to reload their bench and kill morale for next season. They won 57 games this year for 3rd. IIRC ~48 was 8th place, 47 9th place, and 40 10th place. If they stumble, I could see it costing them 10-15 games and that pick becomes an 11-14 lotto pick.

      • bill_nair

        Exactly along my line of thinking.