The Donald Sterling story keeps getting bigger and bigger.
At Yahoo! Sports, Adrian Wojnarowski writes about the Clippers’ owner, and digs a bit deeper into his history. Amongst other things, Woj mentions that if commissioner Adam Silver fails to discipline Sterling harshly enough, it could spell the end of Doc Rivers in Los Angeles, and the dominoes could continue to fall from there.
Wojnarowski also notes in the piece that one of the reasons Sterling was hesitant to sign J.J. Redick over the summer was that he did not want to pay so much money for a white player. As with all of Woj’s pieces, it’s easily worth reading for basketball fans. If you’re a Clippers supporter, try your best not to hyperventilate. Here is an excerpt:
This is why there’s so much pressure on NBA commissioner Adam Silver to deliver a devastating blow at his 2 p.m. ET news conference. Sterling’s inclination will be to keep the team, keep the NBA mired in courts and the Clippers franchise will never survive it. Rivers will never return as president and coach under Sterling, sources told Yahoo Sports, and that’ll start the beginning of a player mutiny that could result with several top Clippers also demanding out of the franchise.
Several league officials – including owners and Board of Governors members – told Yahoo Sports they believe Silver has been studying the nuclear option on Sterling: a provision in the NBA’s bylaws that would allow Silver to summon a vote of league owners to strip Sterling of his ownership. The NBA would run the Clippers until the team could be sold.
Minimally, Silver could implement these penalties on Sterling: a one-year suspension, a $1 million fine and an assignment to counseling. For all the years former commissioner David Stern let Sterling slide, there’s a strong belief Stern simply feared Sterling in the courts. Sterling is an attorney – he loves litigation – and Stern feared Sterling would become Al Davis to his Pete Rozelle.
Despite his denial of ownership interest in the Clippers, Magic Johnson and potential investors spent part of Monday working to understand the avenues to which they could eventually make a deal to become Clippers owners, sources told Yahoo Sports. If the franchise becomes available, Johnson wants to be positioned to make a deal.
For now, Sterling’s estranged wife Shelly believes she can find a way to control the Clippers, but the NBA has no intentions of the team staying in the family’s hands. That’ll never be a compromise, because Silver and the owners understand the public tenor: The Sterling family must go.