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Your Morning Dump… Where Doc is the right man to lead through this Clippers mess

Jay April 29, 2014 Doc Rivers, The Morning Dump 4 Comments

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.

 Sterling is a smart and sinister old man who is reportedly worth close to $2 billion and is the largest landowner in Beverly Hills. In 2003, Sterling was sued for discrimination by a group of tenants. According to the deposition of one of his property supervisors, Sterling did not want to rent to blacks or Hispanics. One of his tenants was an elderly woman named Kandynce Jones who was legally blind and partially paralyzed. After a leak flooded her apartment, Jones asked for compensation for water damage. According to his property supervisor, Sterling refused. “I am not going to do that,” he said. “Just evict the bitch.”

This was reported by ESPN The Magazine five years ago, which means nobody can be surprised by what they heard on those tapes over the weekend. The NBA knew what kind of bigot Sterling was when it hand-delivered Chris Paul to the Clippers, and Paul knew what kind of creep he was working for when he signed his contract.

Doc Rivers has been in the league for 30 years. He played for Sterling for a season and heard all the stories. He still chose to bail on the Celtics and go into business with this snake, so it’s hard to feel sorry for Doc now that he’s been bitten. He wanted the money, the market, the weather and Chris Paul. A vile owner was part of the package, and Doc knew it when he signed up.

Boston Herald - Callahan: NBA can’t just evict Donald Sterling, the bigot loser

Let’s get this out of the way first: I rarely if ever agree with anything Callahan has to say, but the last paragraph above succinctly sums up why Doc took the job and left here.  At the basic level, that’s what it was.  He saw a team ripe for contention with Chris Paul, Blake Griffin already in tow, along with the power of making final roster decisions.  Doc did what was best for Doc and that’s fine.  My whole thing at the time he left (and still now) is, it just makes everything else he preached here seem like a load of crap to just sound good.  He sold “ubuntu” and team first, and “we do things together.”  That’s all fine and well until you force your way out once adversity strikes in the form of what, a rebuild?

I get it, nobody wants to go through it.  Fans hate it and want their team to be a contender every year.  From the top down in an organization, nobody wants to suck and be part of a shitty team.  Doc was here for that and I don’t blame him for not wanting to be a part of it.  He good for him he found a great situation for himself. Individually. He’s also an incredibly smart guy and knew exactly who Donald Sterling was.  He saw the opportunity to go from one dying contender to an immediate contender despite that.

That being said, there is no better man in the NBA to help lead not only the team but the entire organization out of this mess.  On a conference call yesterday Doc did what he does best and displayed just how great he is at his job, which in a selfish way (aren’t we all a little bit?) is part of the reason why it stung so bad when he bailed here.  He even met with members of the organization to discuss the issue:

“These last 48 hours or more have been really hard for our players and for everyone,” Rivers said. “I would just like to reiterate how disappointed I am in the comments attributed to our owner, and I can’t tell you how upset I am and our players are. Today I had a meeting with people in our organization because I just felt they needed to hear a voice as well. When you’re around all these people, you realize they are just as upset and embarrassed, and it doesn’t reflect who they really are.

“That’s the thing I got from all of them. They didn’t sign on for this, but they’re a part of this. They’re upset at this, but they’re going to hang in there, and so are we as a group and as a team. I have to do a better job with our guys and get them back. From our fans’ standpoint, being here for the past 10 hours since we landed, they’ve been amazing. We need them. I can tell you that. We need unbelievable support right now from other people, and we’re hoping we get that tomorrow.”

ESPN - Doc Rivers of Los Angeles Clippers spurns owner Donald Sterling

Again, there is nobody more equipped to handle this ugly situation than Doc.  Right now, it’s all too fresh and confusing to figure out what is right but I’d imagine he’ll figure out what is best.  In Woj’s linked story below, he’s already basically said he won’t work for Sterling beyond this season.  Now imagine if he could get his players to join him.

Page 2: Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander has a crazy solution:

“I thought that there’s got to be a way to disrupt him from owning the team,” said Alexander, who after 20 years owning the Rockets is one of the longest tenured owners in the NBA. “I gave him the sword to deal with this. I said, ‘Let the players become free agents.’”

Houston Chronicle - Calling Sterling comments disgusting, Leslie Alexander seeks to drive him from the NBA

Whoa.  While this would never happen, it’s pretty remarkable for an owner to toss it out there.  If you thought teams were tanking all year for draft picks, think of the 24-hour tank fest via trades that teams would do to clear cap space for Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.  It won’t happen but it’s fun to think about.

The rest of the links:

Boston Globe - The Donald Sterling profile is not a pretty picture  | NBA may act on Clippers owner today

Boston Herald - Doc Rivers tries to take high road | Celtics legends address issue

ESPN Boston - Report card: Rajon Rondo | When Dr. Jack helped the Celts

Yahoo! - How NBA could deliver knockout blow to Clippers owner Donald Sterling

CSNNE - Dooling: NBA can ‘grow’ from Sterling comments | Doc has no choice but to walk away

WEEI - Jeff Van Gundy on D&C | Former Celtic and Clipper Keyon Dooling talks about Donald Sterling

Arizona Daily Star - Where’s Jerryd? ExUA Wildcat a cautionary tale for early NBA draft entrants

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  • CFH

    Thanks for finding the AZ article about Jerryd Bayless and early entry into the draft.

    I recognize the seriousness of the Clipper situation and why that demands and deserves most of the attention… but it’s nice to read an article that doesn’t have the word “Sterling” anywhere in it.

    • eddysamson

      Yeah seriously. Like for instance TNT has completely forgotten about Craig Sager. How the hell is he doing now? All they ever talk about is Sterling and Lebron

  • tvor03

    From what I’ve read in several articles, there really isn’t any way to force Sterling to sell the Clippers unless he’s caught gambling or financially insolvent. But is it possible for the other 29 owners to vote to expel the Clippers from the league? Declare that for as long as they feel it is necessary, the league will consist of 29 teams. Sterling still owns the franchise and all the rights to the Clippers name, etc. but he just doesn’t have a league to play in anymore. Not sure how that would work contract wise with the players though.

  • dk

    A few things:
    1) Anyone else secretly a little happy this is blowing up Doc’s face (horrible circumstances notwithstanding). As writte above, Doc knew the risks–leaving a first class, stable franchise to chase the new pretty tail of instant gratification. Now there’s a good chance he may lose in the first round (which will be blamed on the Sterling distraction but I don’t buy it–GS is a tough team and play the Clips hard) and he will have to start over somewhere else–Or as the Woj article states, he sticks around and deals with that litigation and the fall out of this mess. Although hard to see Doc leaving all that money. Maybe he finally goes back to TV to “recharge those batteries” We will see.
    2) It’d be great if Magic is somehow able to buy the team and pump all that capital and celebrity into the Clips and force the Lakers to be in the shadow!
    3) I didnt really understand Miami’s “solidarity protest” I understand why the Clippers did it as an FU to the franchise but Miami’s gesture really made no sense…their throwing their own unis in the middle of the court?? Just seemed good intentioned but nonsensical like LBJ generally…