Thank You, Donald Sterling!


042714-donald-sterling-600STERLING TOWERS – The NBA playoffs haven’t exactly been scintillating so far on the court, with the most interesting story yet being LeBron James’ wandering eyes while dunking on Michael Jordanor at least his basketball team – on his way to a foregone conclusion three-peat… but who am I kidding? I don’t care about any of that happy-crappy, I needed something to write about today and the Sports Gods handed me Donald Sterling!

List your humble West Coast corespondent among the many, many people around here and throughout the world of sports who always considered the guy an intolerable douche.. .and yet no matter how  this former ambulance-chasing lawyer (that’s right) continued to lower the bar of his own douchery to depths approaching the Mariana Trench he always seemed to fail upward.  He carpet-bagged his way into a real estate nest egg by buying up cheap property in Beverly Hills in the 1970s and started making observations that led to the rise of  his empire: African Americans “…smell.”  Mexican-Americans, “…just sit around and smoke and drink all day.” And apparently the two groups don’t get along. Much better to deal with Koreans because “…they take whatever conditions I give them and still pay the rent.”  This kind of thinking got him elected to the Landlord Hall of Shame!

Yet, despite all the ugly buildings (and lawsuits) that bear his name, it’s the Clippers he was best known for… until now. Purchased like depressed housing for a scant $12.5 million in 1981, Sterling copied the Lakers’ tradition of moving an NBA franchise to Los Angeles yet keeping its now completely incongruous name.  A new one may have cost money, and Sterling was determined from the beginning not to spend any.  He cut costs wherever he could, even fired the team trainer and asked coach Paul Silas if he wouldn’t mind taping up the players before the games.  He was a visionary owner… envisioning his team run with a “Southern plantation type structure” where the “poor black boys from the South” would play for a white coach.  He repeated that “poor black boy” line in one of his astute contract negotiations with young franchise player Danny Manning, as in “that’s a lot of money for a poor black boy,” that sent his best player storming out near tears.  The proud and accomplished Elgin Baylor was made GM, a face that for a little while said “Clippers, we’re not racist,” but he was given no payroll, no chance, less respect and when Sterling tried to blame him for all those losing seasons everyone rightly laughed.

Everyone deserves a second chance...or hundreds of them if you've got the money.

Everyone deserves a second chance…or hundreds of them… if you’ve got the money.

Don Sterling continued to laugh, too… all the way to the bank… where he would occasionally have to dip into his growing piles of money to settle numerous lawsuits, or to buy his son (now dead of a drug overdose) out of any legal issues from shooting his friend in the back as he was running away.  And yet, when the Staples Center was built, Sterling moved his way out of the dank Sports Arena and into the millions of new luxury boxes and top-tier ticket pricing.

So, everyone was laughing. Jay Leno was laughing. And Sterling’s laughing face adorned a series of hilarious ads citing the humanitarian awards he bought won… or announcing a brand new housing and legal center for homeless people (never happened), or seeking cheap floozies for parties (all true).  Heck, even the NAACP was about to give him a Lifetime Achievement Award tonight.   And racism doesn’t exist anymore, the Supreme Court even said so!

The Clippers are worth almost $350 million, maybe more, and despite the slums and suits and expensive sex scandals, Sterling continued his ways unnoticed by the media or everyday people.  But no more! TMZ has accomplished what all the other news giants could not…they’ve put Sterling’s name on the lips of non-sports fans across the land!  So much so that even my wife called it a “…long tradition of Marge Schott and Zorba the Greek.”  Indeed.

Big Al Sternberg/Fake Sandy Alderson, tomorrow.

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About the Author ()

West Coast Craig reports from Hollywood with an endearingly laid back style. A happily married father of two little boys, WCC has an avocado tree in his yard, plays the hot corner in a "Valley" hardball league and always manages to take cool sports-related mini road-trips, often with his immediate clan. He hails from Oneonta, NY but has been "So very L.A." for twenty years, so his sports teams are the Yankees AND the Dodgers, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the L.A. Lakers and the Colorado Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques. WCC loves bacon-wrapped hotdogs and can touch his heel and his ear... with his hand.
  • Junoir Blaber

    Adam Silver, you are on the clock! I am not surprised by Sterling and his comments. I always felt he only owned the team for tax writeoffs and that was why no money was ever spent to be good.

  • dannybax

    This guy makes the Wilpons and Dolan look good.

    • Meet The Matts

      He does! And those Wilpons have a juggernaut in Flushing right now!

  • AngryWard

    Can you imagine what a pr nightmare it would be for the NBA if the Clippers rallied and won the NBA Championship and a trophy had to be presented to that dickhead? I look for refs to foul out Paul and Griffin every game from this point on.

  • jgclancy

    Donald Tokowitz Sterling makes me say – in comparison – that George Steinbrenner was a wonderful owner and fabulous guy.

  • Meet The Matts

    Just playing the Devil’s Advocate here, but don’t we live in a capitalistic society in which jerk-balls of the worst kind own corporations? Can we really force this guy to sell? Are we Spain?

  • FakeSandyAlderson

    He’s a douche of the highest order. A repugnant guy. But he cannot be forced to sell. The fact that NONE of the other owners have said a peep tells you everything you need to know about this old white boys club known as sports team owners. The guy is so heinous that it compelled ONLY ONE owner-MJ-to repudiate Sterling’s comments. And MJ has never given his voice or support to any cause in his life that didn’t involve 7 year olds making his shoes. The fact that not one other owner has the balls/common sense/decency to call Sterling’s comments disgusting is the very reason why he’s been the team’s owner since 1981. And David Stern, through his tolerance and tacit acceptance of the guy is absolutely complicit in this crap.

    • WestCoastCraig

      On the incriminating tape–which is generally hilarious–he’s upset not so much that his girlfriend is hanging out (or even sleeping with) black people…he’s mainly upset that his Old White Boys Club sees it on “the Instagram” and apparently razzes him about it. He himself pleads he’s not racist because he gives the black players on his team “food” and “cars.” By this admission, and the fact that nobody’s flinched at any of the horrid shit he’s done all this time, means that there are plenty of other owners out there who feel the same way. The sin he may be finally be booted out for isn’t his comments, it’ll be for being stupid enough to get caught making them.

  • FakeSandyAlderson

    And before we all start with the platitudes of how “Sterling even makes the Wilpons look good by comparison…” Consider that the Wilpons are not exactly humanitarians either. When they conspired to steal 60B dollars along with Bernie Madoff, they did so off of the backs of widows, charities, and retirees-most of whom were NOT wealthy. The Wilpons made hundreds of millions of dollars by colluding with Madoff. They were not victims. And when the time came for them to make good and give money to the charities that were fleeced, the widows who lost their retirement money? The Wilpons held like grim death to every ill-gotten bloody cent they had. So, no the Wilpons are NOT any better than Sterling. And Dolan-with all of his well deserved criticism still has a chance to be a Man for the first time in his life and step up and repudiate Sterling. But he hasn’t and he won’t.Coward

  • FakeSandyAlderson

    By the way WCC, very well written piece. He’s obviously someone whose nonsense you’ve observed for a while.

  • gollytwo

    Mets are doing well.
    They seem to win more often when I’m not watching. Have been away at a quilt retreat in Red Sox Nation so no MLB package.
    And I thought it was only my buying their shirts that had the negative effect.

  • GrindingAxWalter

    Good synopsis to the obvious about an old school racist. As the media has painted, this is no new revelation. Sterlings image was tarnished years ago . Its now due to the extortion from a women playing him that this is memorialized on tape. As previous comments say…..he is a douche and the NBA needs to find a new owner…lifetime ban for him.

    • jgclancy

      On the good side he is 80 years old and grim death is not too far off for him. Not wishing him dead, nooo, that’d be wrong but just knowing that I’ll most likely still be alive when he dies means that for a moment I’ll know the world became a better place to be.
      Go A’s!

  • AngryWard

    In the middle of all of this, shouldn’t someone at the NAACP be getting fired right around now? Sterling was to receive their Lifetime Achievement Award next month. It’s been cancelled but apparently he also received a Lifetime Achievement award from that organization in 2009 as well as a Humanitarian Award in 2008. You’re telling me this notorious slumlord didn’t buy those honors? What a joke.

    • Cookies Corner

      Listen people… Kobe Bryant is tweeting his outrage about it…so all is right in the world again because we know what a good moral compass THAT guy has. Pfft.

  • Cheesybruin

    I read Sterling’s Wikipedia page…what a despicable S.O.B.!

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