Harris DeckerI’ve been sitting on this Donald Sterling story for the last few days. I wasn’t sure if and how it affected the Knicks. After all, Sterling has no connection to New York, and while his comments were absolutely disgraceful, there are only a few outcomes here. I don’t see any of them having league-wide repercussions.
What triggered me to actually write this was a fan letter I received from Rico, stating that he believes the result of this will be players and coaches bailing out of Los Angeles. If that were the case, there is an All-Star point guard out west that everyone knows would fit perfectly on the Knicks.
This won’t be the case. Commissioner Adam Silver has quite the mess on his hands. He stated earlier in the week that he would not make a quick decision and will look into the incident in detail. What does that actually mean? A voice recognition specialist should be able to determine if that actually was Sterling in a matter of minutes and the rest is as clear as this recording:
Silver could end up taking steps similar to what Major League Baseball did with the Dodgers. The NBA would take control and then essentially force him to sell. It would make Sterling even richer, but get him out of basketball.
Clippers players have already said that they won’t boycott this afternoon’s playoff game. The players won’t be going anywhere after the season. They are under contract and unless certain players force trades, the roster won’t be broken up over this incident. It’s the owner who will likely find himself outside of Los Angeles.
Another thing that this mess has pointed out is just how bad owners could be. In the case of Sterling, we have old school racism at its best. James Dolan is an annoying, controlling owner but let’s face it, in comparison, he’s quite a catch. Owners can range from the cheap to the boisterous to the dispassionate. We can now add racist to that list. Let’s all hope that Sterling is no longer in control of the Clippers come 2014-15.