May 2, 2014

On The Rebound: Dinosaur Sterling will soon be extinct

By Mitch Howard
Sports Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — First let’s establish that I have no sympathy for Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. The comments he made regarding the players that have helped build his empire take us back 200 years.

Sterling comes from a time when the mentality of Archie Bunker was more prevalent than the mentality of Barack Obama. That is not an excuse for ignorance, just an explanation. We are all products of our generation, so in 40 more years his type of mentality will be mostly gone as another generation passes.

Sterling, a real estate mogul, bought the team for $12.5 million in 1981. That makes him the longest tenured owner in the NBA. The team is now valued at $575 million and it is a check he might be cashing soon.

The punishment by the NBA was both swift and harsh.  Sterling will pay a $2.5 million penalty and banned from the league for life. The NBA will try and force Sterling to sell the team. He should have placed the team on Craigslist when the recordings of his comments were made.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver appears to have done everything right. A fast investigation and a firm decision were warranted to get this matter closed and off Sportscenter as soon as possible. Let’s just hope that the decision was not based on the number of advertisers that dropped sponsorship of the Clippers following the incident. The loud voices of celebrities such as Al Sharpton and Snoop Dog shouldn’t have any bearing either.  Snoop Dog is less relevant than here than Snoopy.

The only concern is where the incident took place and the way the information was obtained. Sterling was recorded in his own home without his knowledge. There is question whether his girlfriend already had mentioned a vendetta to bring down Sterling. Some of the people railing the loudest against Sterling could possibly benefit from the incident, up to and including purchasing the team if he is forced to sale. There is question whether Sterling is even mentality lucid enough to understand what was happening to him.

Looks like the NBA is in for a long battle with an outdated man that will not step aside quietly. Chances are Sterling will be lowered into the ground before we will see his team taken away. So, if Sterling wants to hear advice from a poor, non-racist white man, here goes.

Your time has passed. You have accomplished great things financially and hopefully did not step on anyone’s neck to get there. Regardless, it is time to saddle up and ride away. Make a public apology for the remarks and acknowledge that you made them. Allow the sale of the team or even broker a deal. Take your big stacks of money back to your mansion and invite over whatever colored girlfriend you want.

Just watch what you say when she gets there.