Our Collective Thoughts on Donald Sterling

By now the story about Donald Sterling and his punishment has been beaten almost to death. The writers here at ThaWell wanted to make sure we got our two cents in to give Donald Sterling the final kick in the pants he needs to

kick-in-the-pantsfade into bolivian before no one cares anymore. Here goes:

Chris: So, attractiveness of his girlfriend aside, what do y’all think of his lifetime ban? Is it justified? Did Adam Silver make the right call?

Erik: On one hand I want to commend Adam Silver for doing way better than his predecessor, David Stern. Stern let this dude get away with murder for 30 years. On the other hand, there’s no way Adam Silver could have gotten away with doing nothing. This was truly the straw that broke the camel’s back. Too much national attention. Too many strong opinions. I think he did what he had to do at the very least.

Chris: But forcing someone to sell a team? Not to mention that Sterling is about to get extra paid so he can trick off more money on handsome women. Dude paid $17 million for a team valued at $500 mill now. I’m no math major but that’s at least a 3648493926% ROI. That’s return on investment, my Stiviano’s.

Erik: Forcing him to sell is really the only punishment he can put on him, though, right? I mean, in what way can you punish the owner, but not the team itself and all its players? This dude had to go. It’s an unprecedented move, but it had to be done. If Silver lets this slide, his entire term as commissioner is marred.

And it’s not like Sterling isn’t about to be paid. He’s actually coming out ahead. Dude is, like 80… thousand years old, or so. He’s got more money than he could ever spend, and he’s about to add half a billion to it. Even though this is a punishment, it’s not really a punishment.

Marcus: I think Stern was counting on him dying off a few years back.

Deshawn: The decision on Sterling was firm, as it should have been. There’s no way you can allow what was said on that recording. I do agree with Erik that something should have been done a long time ago based on his history. However that evidence could be circumstantial. This current evidence cannot be refuted. The maximum punishment should undeniably be implemented. I honestly wish more could be done.

Erik: But the past evidence couldn’t be refuted either. It’s a fact that he’s paid out multiple settlements because of housing discrimination. There’s a ton of evidence that would have put him in a bad position in court which led him to try to settle. This dude has been scum for a long time. I’m glad Silver decided to drop the hammer. I just wonder how much messier this is going to get. I know the owners can vote to force him to sell with a three fourths vote, but how do they actually make him sell? If he doesn’t want to go, how much uglier will this thing get?

Chris: Right. I know the NBA constitution apparently says that the owners can vote out an owner for conduct detrimental to the league, which this absolutely is. But even if that weren’t the case Silver had full wherewithal to levy huge penalties against the Clips to spite the owner. The CBA may contain language that  could make all the Clippers free agents able to sign elsewhere. Even if Sterling didn’t sell the team he’d have no revenue.

Erik: So the answer to my question is that this can get waaaaaaaaay messier. Awesome. This could, literally, change the entire league. If he refuses to leave and all his players are given the right to go away, this thing could go from bad to worse. Hopefully, Sterling isn’t so prideful that he brings it to that. But we’re talking about a dude who has a wife of about 50 years AND a girlfriend and doesn’t mind if he’s publicly seen with either. His pride is really the only reason we’re having this conversation. He couldn’t have his girlfriend seen publicly with black people because of his image… This is like a bad soap opera. Is this really real life?

Chris: So all of these recordings came about, “leaked” because of the main lady suing the side “lady.” My question is HOW DID “SHE” THINK THIS WOULD HELP HER IN THIS LAWSUIT? Old dude is about to lose his team, don’t you think he’s gonna want to get back at her for that by helping his wife win her lawsuit?

Deshawn: How do you explain the fact that no action was taken when discrimination occurred then? I think his past dirt could be plausibly denied, even if proven in court. Whereas the recording cannot be. There is no other explanation.

Erik: Wrong. The explanation is that there is no explanation! That’s why a lot of people are upset. David Stern let this dude slide for years when everybody knew he was dirty. Bomani Jones wrote about how dirty he was a decade ago. Bill Plaschke wrote about how people in LA hated him, because people understood how dirty he was. And after all he’s said and done, this audio tape is what brings him down. Plausible deniability doesn’t lead someone to shell out the kind of money this dude has in settlements to prevent things from going to court. That’s just not logical.

Chris: What I’m saying is we all knew he was racist but he’d never been racist towards his players or explicitly in a NBA setting. Come on, he celebrated Black History Month…in March.

Deshawn: But the fact is, he did shell out the money. When civil causes resolve in the defendant paying, isn’t that punishment?  Besides civil cases like resolve are indicative of wrongdoing. Remember, OJ (and others) lost his civil case. And the “paying of black folks” isn’t the only bad thing about his statement. He shouldn’t have said that his gf couldn’t take pics or go to games with blacks.

Chris: But those are personal things; they have nothing to do with the Clippers. Mark Cuban was on trial with the SEC. I guarantee you every single owner has been sued or lost a civil trial for something. It goes with the territory for rich folks.

What I’m contending is that Sterling has been a known racist for 30 years. Why ban him now? Two reasons: Stern is gone, and he made comments directly about players. I doubt it has anything to do with her not taking black folks to games. I’m sure he ain’t the only owner who has said he doesn’t want (insert person) at his team’s games. Just my opinion.

Deshawn: Who knew he was a racist? Those stories didn’t make the first page of no newspaper.  Just because it was news doesn’t mean people knew about it. Magic Johnson said himself that he considered Sterling a good friend up until this phone thing happened.

Erik: A lot of people knew he was racist. Elgin Baylor filed a lawsuit against him for wrongful termination five years ago, calling him racist. Even after this news broke, former players were coming out talking about his past. People have known about him.

The one thing that we can all agree on is that this dude had to go. The NBA is better without him and people like him. Good riddance.

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Erik Walker

Erik is black.

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