The End of Donald Sterling, by Bill Simmons
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Stories
How three decades of incompetence were wiped away by three days of chaos:
Donald Sterling, who wasn’t there, usually dressed in all black. He spent three years tormenting San Diego’s Clippers fans, then another three decades ruining the Clippers in Los Angeles. He’s one of the worst sports owners ever by every calculation. And that’s before factoring in what happened last weekend, when the first wave of Sterling’s hideously racist audiotapes surfaced online, launching a three-day tornado of wrath that eventually swept him away. Only a few hours before Game 5, new NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling from the league for life. There was nothing to protest. For many of us, it still made sense to wear black.
Sitting in Sterling’s seats at midcourt? Two black guys. This was one of Sterling’s favorite tricks over the years: Anytime he landed in hot water racially, because of a housing discrimination lawsuit, an inappropriate comment or something else, you could count on a minority mysteriously popping up in his seats. Everyone who played for Sterling, worked for Sterling or bought Clippers tickets knew he was slime. We rationalized it in our own ways. Chris Paul pushed his way to the Clippers because he wanted a big market. Blake Griffin passed up free agency because the Clippers offered him an extraordinary amount of money. Doc Rivers abandoned a terrific Celtics organization, and a city that unequivocally loved him, for a chance to turn the Clippers into champions. I bought Clippers season tickets in 2004 because I love going to NBA games. We all knew about Sterling. As Ted DiBiase said, everybody’s got a price.