Over on the mothership, Ramona Shelburne pens the last days of decline for the infamous Clippers owner. For full coverage of all things relating to the Sterling fiasco, click here.
Over the years, he has thrown hundreds of parties in the hotel’s swanky ballrooms. He paid for beautiful girls to serve food and start conversations. He employed photographers — some who actually took pictures, some who were paid to play paparazzi to give the scene a more frenzied feel.
In 2012, he hired Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin impersonators for a party to celebrate the Clippers’ playoff berth. The Marilyn impersonator tried and failed to coax Blake Griffin and Chris Paul up on stage with her before seductively serenading then-coach Vinny Del Negro while everyone in the room watched. “It was awkward, to put it nicely,” Griffin says. “Vinny ended up biting the bullet for us there.”
Later, Sterling brought Paul up on stage with him. He asked for a round of applause for the point guard who had elevated the franchise to a new level, then joked, “Why is this guy married? Look at all the beautiful women in L.A.” Paul’s wife was in the audience. He smiled uncomfortably and said, “Because I love my wife.”
Griffin had heard stories of Donald’s eccentricities before he was drafted by the Clippers in 2009. The allegations of racism and sexism were well-known. The way he’d stiff coaches he fired and sue anyone who didn’t like it. “That’s just how he was, so nothing really surprised me,” Griffin says. “It could be a little weird here or there. But all that has no effect on what I do on the court, so I just got over it.”
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