Feb 12, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling (right) and entertainer and actor Billy Crystal attend the game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center. The Clippers defeated the Trail Blazers 122-117. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Clippers: Did Donald Sterling Orchestrate NBA’s Biggest Sale?


Donald Sterling doesn’t understand what the word racist means. In similar fashion most people can’t give the definition for, or derivation of the word “human.” There are certain things that summarize our existence, and we rarely take the time to define them.

Donald Sterling sincerely believes he’s not the revolting person we’ve rediscovered him to be. He’s a remnant of a different time; an old mummy who’s managed to silently maneuver within one of the greatest sports leagues for more than three decades.

Quite a parting gift, David Stern. Much appreciated.

As old habits don’t die hard, it seems the good in fact do die young, and the immoral prosper. In the case of Donald Sterling, relinquishing his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers has ingredients that both conspiracy theorists and Gordon Gekko disciples can mentally feast on.

Magic Johnson called him a “black eye for the NBA,” and after racist recordings were released publicly by TMZ, the NBA moved swiftly to ban Sterling for life and force the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers. Entrusted with the sale of the team, Shelly Sterling reached a deal Thursday with former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to sell the Clippers for a record $2 billion–a big profit from the $12 million Sterling originally purchased the team for.

Before imparting a “Southern plantation-type structure” on his piece of the NBA, Donald Sterling was born Donald Tokowitz. He was the only son of an immigrant grocer who took to business and money management at a young age. He had a knack for saving a dollar, and a greater thirst for making them. In an interview with Los Angeles Magazine, a former coworker once inquired into his name change and Tokowitz responded, “You have to name yourself after something that’s really good, that people have confidence in. People want to know that you’re the best.”

Nearly 60 years later and after being voted the most hated man in America, Sterling’s reputation is nothing but the complete opposite. He’s not held in good regard, and there’s a complete lack of confidence in his ability to run the Clippers franchise, a franchise he’s dragged through the mud for the majority of its NBA life. It’s stunk in infamy that’s parallel with his off-the-court reputation.

A crisis is defined as a time of intense difficulty, trouble or danger. It’s human nature to resist thinking with normal rationale in these times. It’s easy to sweep things under the rug in moments of distraction, and it’s possible that the NBA is sweeping away an organized mess. Sterling has owned the Clippers for 33 years, and for a man who’s hated to lose every day of his life, having the Clippers stripped from his grasp isn’t aligned with his personal drive. It’s the complete opposite.

It’s possible Sterling knew his time in the NBA was coming to an end, or perhaps he wanted to move on to other challenges in the twilight of his life. One thing’s for sure and that’s Sterling enjoys a challenge as much as he revels making a quick buck out of it. He fought the NBA and the United States Department of Justice, and although nobody cares to understand, it’s perplexing as to why he’s chosen to roll over now.

You’d think that at this point Sterling’s reputation couldn’t get any worse. It’s been proven over time that it definitely can. Regardless as to whether this whole fiasco was his doing or not, Donald Sterling will only make a profit on his terms. This crisis of a situation created the perfect impulse purchase environment and the following bidding war. Behind the scenes, Sterling owned the perfect alibi to make it seem legitimate. If you’re a bad guy attempting to walk away from the NBA with $2 billion, it’s better that everyone thinks you had no choice. Conspiracy theory or plausible scenario; no one ever cares when a tyrant is thrown from his rule.

In the end, Donald Sterling was awarded $2 billion to continue doing what he does best – reap unethical anarchy on the streets of Los Angeles. Another luxury condo built-in a city where luxury itself is out of reach by the majority. There’s no proof to suggest that wasn’t his end game to begin with.

If you don’t know what a racist is why would you care if that’s how you’re labeled? Conversely if your life’s ambition has been to hoard dollars, walking away with the biggest sale in NBA franchise history is an inscription worth branding on your tombstone. A lasting sentiment for those who would despise him to say: “He might have been a vile and disgusting human being, but he certainly made money.” No one can ever take that from him. Not even the NBA.

Tags: Donald Sterling Los Angeles Clippers Steve Ballmer

  • zeak14

    and on your tombstone will be “I was an idiot”.

    The views expressed in private by Don Sterling are the same views that 90% of the fathers in this country would have about their daughter hanging around with a magic johnson or a tiger woods. Not only that those same views would be held by 90% of african fathers and hispanic and 100% of asian fathers.

    We learn 2 things from this:

    1. Lipstick on a pig doesn’t make it not a pig and people like magic johnson and tiger woods are pigs. no caring father or jealous boyfriend wants their daughter or girl friend hanging out with those losers because it will ruin their reputation and they will be poorly treated.
    2. Everyone has views where they think their race or culture is superior to that of another. Doesn’t mean they are right but they ALL have the same views, regardless of whether they are asian, caucasian, or african.

    • Marcus Bass

      Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I appreciate your opinion. Twitter: @TheBasslineNBA