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The Sterling saga continues

By Larry Pritchett
Past PCHS activities director

Will Donald have to give up his basketball hobby? Will Donald’s wife be able to keep her ownership in the hobby? Will Donald’s girlfriend have to quit bringing her friends to the games? Was the fine assessed to Donald too excessive? If I didn’t know better I would have thought I tuned in on one of the network’s soaps this past week when I intended to watch some of the NBA playoffs.
I have said it before and it is still true, I don’t particularly like NBA games, but this year’s start to the playoffs has had a number of pretty good games to watch.
The Donald Sterling saga complete with wife, girlfriend and his rant against almost anything but the color white added a distraction. This pretty well points out that no matter how old a person is, how much power he has, how much money he has, or experience in life, he still has the ability to make pretty stupid remarks about a lot of topics. It makes it hard to understand how he actually could enjoy owning an NBA team made up of so many things he apparently dislikes. His rant about people of color and the fact that his girlfriend, who is of mixed race, makes his comments to me even more bizarre.
The NBA in pretty quick fashion fined Sterling $2.5 million, which isn’t chump change to most of us, but I don’t know how steep that is to a person whose money count goes to the billion dollar range.
The NBA also banned him from any participation in his LA Clipper team plus Sterling was banned from the NBA for life. I am sure that there is an appeal system in place and it appears that Mr. Sterling doesn’t rebuke easily. He has gone to court before against the federal government and won.
I would not think that the NBA will growl loudly and scare him. The NBA ban keeps him from being present at any Clippers office or facility, or participating in any business or player personnel decisions or attending any NBA games or practices.
Can the NBA make Sterling sell his team? There is some question about that, but I would bet that it could happen.
There is something to be said for owning a professional team. Sterling is one of 32 people who own a professional NBA team. He owns one in L.A. Not a bad place to meet people who will pay $10,000 dollars a game to sit on the front row.     
Sterling paid $12.5 million for the Clippers in the early 80s. The team is now valued at $575 million. So making him sell it probably won’t hurt financially all that much.
My first thought was that Sterling must have been raised in an area that accepted segregation and had never changed in his feeling over the past 70 years or so. I am sure there are many people still like that.
Maybe he viewed the Clipper organization as his plantation. I don’t know what it is or was. You would think that in this day and age that he would have different feelings in those areas but I am also sure that sometimes being very wealthy brings a feeling of power, if not a feeling of common sense. You know that is just my opinion, not something I could prove from my ownership of anything but our house.
I am sure each and every player, coach or employee of the Clippers will evaluate just how badly they want to be a part of that organization in years to come. It is a sad situation that has taken away from a great start for the Clippers team.