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Tags: NBA

Game On: Sterling Hires Firms to Investigate Other NBA Owners, Execs.



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Scorched earth — I like it. AP:

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s team of lawyers has hired four private investigation firms to dig up dirt on the NBA’s former and current commissioners and its 29 other owners, said a person familiar with Sterling’s legal strategy.

Investigators were given a six-figure budget over the next 30 days to examine the league’s finances, allegations of previous discriminatory conduct and compensation to past Commissioner David Stern and current Commissioner Adam Silver, said the person who spoke to The Associated Press on Thursday night on condition of anonymity. The person wasn’t authorized to talk publicly.

The person said the investigators also are looking into whether other owners made any off-color jokes, or racist or sexist remarks.

The rest here.

Tags: NBA

Donald Sterling Now Says Clippers Not for Sale



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Reuters:

Embattled Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling said on Monday the basketball franchise was not for sale and he would fight to keep the team he built, in the latest salvo of his battle with the league.

Sterling was banned for life by the National Basketball Association in April over a leaked recording of racist remarks he made.

Then, on May 30, Sterling sued the NBA and its commissioner, Adam Silver, seeking at least $1 billion in damages, just as the league tentatively approved a deal by his estranged wife, co-owner of the franchise, to sell the club for $2 billion to former Microsoft Corp chief executive Steve Ballmer.

Maybe it’s time to give Sterling a second chance? Here he is, for example, proving he’s not racist by lunching with two very attractive African-American women. TMZ:


To be continued. . .

Tags: NBA

Gatorade to LeBron: It Isn’t in You



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Via Yahoo Sports NBA blogger Johnny Ludden:

LeBron James couldn’t go stronger for longer last night. Apparently, even the power of Powerade was no match for the sweltering conditions inside San Antonio’s AT&T Center.


More here.

Tags: NBA

The Long, National Nightmare Is Over: Clippers Sold, Lawsuit Dropped



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USA Today:

Donald Sterling will not fight the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers and will drop a lawsuit he filed Friday against the NBA, Sterling’s attorney, Max Blecher, confirmed to USA TODAY Sports Wednesday.

Sterling, the Clippers’ owner since 1981, had considered fighting the sale of the team by his wife Shelly. But such a challenge might have required Sterling to fight her in court and contest a recent ruling made about his mental health. Shelly Sterling agreed to sell the Clippers last week to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.

The rest here.

Tags: NBA

Mark Cuban Update: He’s Not Happy with the Racial-Grievance Industry



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Cuban is using his Twitter feed to go after those he thinks took his earlier comments on race out of context. Some excerpts:

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And it was only lunchtime. 

Tags: NBA

Racial Grievance Industry’s Next Target: Mark Cuban?



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Mark Cuban was in Tennessee giving a speech on entrepreneurship and made some comments on race that are under fire. From The Sporting News. Emphasis mine:

Cuban commented on NBA commissioner Adam Silver’s recent lifetime ban of Sterling along with the league’s urging that owners force Sterling to sell the franchise with a three-quarters majority vote.

“There is a lot at stake as a whole for the NBA as a business,” Cuban said, saying that he thought it was a necessary move for Silver and the NBA.

“There are no laws against stupid,” Cuban added regarding Sterling’s racist comments. “I learned a long time ago that you can’t talk stupid out of people. You can’t expect stupid to disappear.”

Cuban further remarked to attendees that we all have to fight our own internal prejudices, with the hope that they do not manifest themselves. It is a constant battle Cuban fights as well, saying ”none of us have complete pure thoughts.”

“I also try not to be a hypocrite. I know I’m prejudiced. I know I’m bigoted in a lot of different ways,” he said. “I’ve said this before. If I see a black kid in a hoodie at night on the same side of the street, I’m probably going to walk to other side of the street. If I see a white guy with a shaved head and lots of tattoos, I’m going back to the other side of the street. If I see anybody that looks threatening, and I try not to, but part of me takes into account race and gender and image. I’m prejudiced. Other than for safety issues, I try to always catch my prejudices and be very self-aware.”

Cuban later recounted a story from the 1960s when his uncle served as a superintendent in the Washington, D.C., area. He recalled sitting down with his uncle and being told that everyone was equal, and it was never acceptable to treat people differently based on their creed, race, gender or ethnicity. At the same time, though, it did not mean that certain negative thoughts won’t appear from time to time.

The 55-year-old Cuban said he already knows which way he will vote. While he did not specify one way or another, he alluded to his impending decision. 

“The thing that scares me about this whole thing is I don’t want to be a hypocrite,” Cuban said. “And I think I might have to be.”

I was listening to the Mike and Mike show on ESPN Radio and they were all over him for the hoodie comment. I didn’t hear them discuss the entire quote from above, however, but maybe they did and I just missed it. I don’t think what he said was any big deal, but we’ll see how the reaction develops over the day.

Tags: NBA

Report: Sterling Won’t Pay the NBA Fine, Threatens to Sue



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Andersoon Cooper Interviews Donald Sterling



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Here’s the write-up and a highlight video from CNN:

And here’s Anderson Cooper talking about the hour-plus-long interview where he says Sterling ”seems totally competent”:

Of note, Sterling does signal in the video that he’s not sure he’d take legal action against the NBA if it came to that.

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: NBA

Trouble For the NBA: Shelly Sterling Wants To Own the Clippers



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Via the Los Angeles Times:

Shelly Sterling hopes to keep ownership of the Clippers

Los Angeles Clippers co-owner Shelly Sterling said Wednesday that she believes she is legally entitled to maintain ownership of the NBA team and will attempt to do so, even as the pro basketball league pushes to remove her husband from the team he has owned for 33 years.

Sterling described her long tenure as a “die-hard” fan of the Clippers and said she believes that the sanctions against Donald Sterling — which included a lifetime ban and $2.5-million fine — do not apply to “me or my family.”

Shelly Sterling’s position presents a “wild card” for the pro basketball league as it faces its biggest crisis in memory, said a league official, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter. Her intention to hold on to the team is a wrinkle apparently not contemplated by NBA officials when they moved nine days ago to strip her estranged husband of ownership.

And. . .

The NBA has sent signals that it is uncomfortable with Shelly Sterling’s continued presence in the organization. The league let her know that it would prefer that she not attend playoff games Friday and Sunday at Staples Center against the Oklahoma City Thunder, said the NBA source. But league officials privately acknowledge that they do not know how they can prevent her from attending.

Over to you, NBA. My prediction is that at least some members of the Sterling family are going to own the Clippers for as long as they want. 

 

Tags: NBA

Why is Sterling’s ‘Racist’ Wife Getting a Pass?



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Donald Sterling’s wife, Shelly, has her own issues. Via Talking Points Memo:

On Sunday, two days after an audio recording of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling making racist comments was released online, his wife, Rochelle Sterling, told ESPN she didn’t condone the statements.

“I’m not a racist,” she said. “Never have been, never will be.”

On Tuesday, The Los Angeles Times reported on court documents that undercut that assertion.

During a 2009 deposition, a tenant in one of the Sterling’s apartment buildings accused Rochelle Sterling of once calling him a “black m—f—” during a discussion.

“I asked her again, I asked her, ‘would you reduce the rent?’” Darrell Rhodes said in the deposition, according to the Times. “And she said, ‘who do you think you are, you black m—f—.’”

Rhodes sued the Sterlings in federal court in 2007, accusing the couple of discriminatory behavior. His case was ultimately part of a $2.765 million settlement reached in 2009 between the Sterlings, the Justice Department, and other Sterling tenants, according to the Times. As part of the deal, the Sterlings did not admit any wrongdoing.

If we apply the same standard to Shelly as Donald, shouldn’t she be banned from the games, too? 

But she’s not. She even has the support of Clippers’ coach Doc Rivers who reportedly told her to attend Game 5 against the Warriors as well as his public support of her after the game:

“It’s a tough one for Shelly [Sterling], really,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said following a 113-103 Game 5 victory over the Golden State Warriorson Tuesday. “She didn’t do anything wrong either. You have compassion for her. I kept hearing about the girlfriend. I kept thinking, ‘Shelly is the wife.’ You know what I mean? I talked to her [Tuesday] and she has been through as much as anyone as well.”

We’ll see how long that lasts, however, as Doc was made aware of Shelly’s past by a reporter for the Los Angeles Daily News:

It’s more complicated than Shelly’s past issues, too. Shelly was seen in public with her husband after the story broke and after she publicly condemned his comments. A TMZ reporter who captured the couple leaving a restaurant asked her if she thought her husband was a racist. She “loudly” answered, “of course not.” 

So over to you, NBA. Time to ban Shelly for life, too. You know, to be fair.

 

 

 

 

Tags: NBA

Shaquille O’Neal Apolgizes to the Fan He Mocked Online



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So sorry:

Always learning? I wonder what’s next on his curriculum. Maybe, “don’t bite a classmate on the playground?”

Tags: NBA

Luke Russert: A Racist Who Beat His Girlfriend Should Buy the Clippers



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NBC’s Luke Russert on who he thinks should buy the Clippers:

This is the same Mayweather that went on a racist, public tirade against Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao:

Mayweather said he planned to take about a year off — timed perfectly with a fight against Pacquiao next May — and that he would return to face his rival in a showdown for pound-for-pound supremacy.

The style will be remembered far more than the substance, though.

Mayweather said he would return to “cook that little yellow chump,” Pacquiao.

After “I stomp the midget,” Mayweather said he would “make me a sushi roll and cook me some rice.”

Mayweather said he “don’t have the urge to get up” and fight again.

“But when I do got the urge to get up, believe me my UStream and my Twitter fans will be the first to know, and when we do come back, we will kick (Pacquiao’s) (expletive).”

Mayweather repeatedly pronounced Pacquiao’s name as “Poochiao” during the course of the video, which lasted about 10 minutes.

And this is the same Mayweather who went to jail for beating up his girlfriend.

Boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a perfect 42-0 in the ring and has dodged significant jail time several times in domestic violence cases in Las Vegas and Michigan.

But his courtroom streak came to an end Wednesday when a Las Vegas judge sentenced him to 90 days in jail after he pleaded guilty to a reduced battery domestic violence charge and no contest to two harassment charges.

The case stemmed from a hair-pulling, punching and arm-twisting argument with his ex-girlfriend Josie Harris while two of their children watched in September 2010.

“Punishment is appropriate,” Justice of the Peace Melissa Saragosa said after a prosecutor complained that Mayweather has been in trouble before and hasn’t faced serious consequences.

“No matter who you are, you have consequences to your actions when they escalate to this level of violence,” she said.

I look forward to Luke’s explanation. 

Tags: NBA

Donald Sterling and His Enablers at the NAACP



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One thing that stands out in the Donald Sterling story is his relationship with the NAACP. How did somebody so allegedly racist earn three NAACP awards? Well, two — a President’s award in 2008 and a Lifetime Achievement award in 2009. The NAACP, in light of recent events, has rescinded his second Lifetime Achievement award. But, still. Until this audio recording surfaced, the NAACP was honoring Sterling for two lifetimes’ worth of achievements. 

The NAACP was well aware of the controversy surrounding Sterling in 2009, but brushed it off. The Los Angeles Times, however, noticed the contradiction. From May 2009:

Something’s out of whack. . . .

Clippers owner Donald Sterling, accused of racism and embracing a “vision of a Southern plantation-type structure” in a lawsuit filed in February by Elgin Baylor, will be given a lifetime achievement award next week by the NAACP. . . .

Leon Jenkins, president of the Los Angeles branch of the civil rights organization, says of the much-maligned Sterling, “He has a unique history of giving to the children of L.A.,” revealing that the owner donates anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 tickets a game to youth groups for nearly every Clippers home game. . . .

Noting that the NAACP had made plans to honor Sterling before Baylor filed suit, Jenkins says, “We can’t speak to the allegations, but what we do know is that for the most part [Sterling] has been very, very kind to the minority youth community.” . . .

Baylor didn’t mention that. . . .

And a few weeks later, ESPN The Magazine wrote a big piece on Sterling and his legal problems and was on hand at the NAACP award ceremony. ESPN’s reporting raises the obvious question, “what the hell was the NAACP thinking?” Here’s the opener:

For more than two years, Sterling has been staring down federal civil rights charges related to his real estate holdings and rental practices. According to the Justice Department, Sterling, his wife and three of his companies have engaged in discrimination, principally by refusing to rent to African-Americans. In February, Elgin Baylor, the Clippers GM from 1986 to 2008, filed an age and racial discrimination suit against his old boss alleging, among other things, that Sterling repeatedly expressed a desire to field a team of “poor black boys from the South … playing for a white coach.” Sterling’s attorneys have denied the accusations. And even as these controversies swirl around him, Sterling is here tonight to receive a lifetime achievement award from the local chapter of the NAACP.

The man of the hour ushers two black guests over to talk to the reporter.

“Donald Sterling is a prince among men,” says Leon Isaac Kennedy, who starred in the Penitentiary series of movies in the ’70s and ’80s. “I’ve been his friend for 25 years.” At dinner, the emcee updates the crowd on the Lakers, who are losing to Houston in a crucial playoff game. With Sterling in attendance, guests aren’t sure whether to boo or cheer. But when the Clippers owner rises to speak, he is gracious. “I really have a special feeling for this organization,” he says. He’s a major donor, contributing $10,000 to $15,000 this year alone, according to chapter president Leon Jenkins.

Sterling doesn’t stay to hear all the speakers — his entourage is at the hotel bar watching the game — but while speaking, he holds his two-handled trophy cup aloft. And he smiles that smile, the almost smirk you see in photo after photo of the man associates call The Donald. It’s smooth and self-satisfied and says not just that the guy behind it makes his own rules but that he’s won yet another round. Tell him he can’t move his team, and he’ll move it anyway. Complain that he’s a cheapskate, and he’ll spend just enough to maintain the profit margin he wants. Sue him for sexual harassment or housing discrimination, and he’ll buy your silence with a hefty cash settlement. Call him a racist, and he’ll show you an eminent civil rights organization lauding his accomplishments.

Fast forward to 2014, and the NAACP, based on everything that’s in the public record, decided to honor him again? I hope they, at the very least, insisted he stay for the entire award ceremony this time. 

But it’s not just the NAACP that held their tongue on Sterling. NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, in a much cited piece for Time, is “outraged” that people didn’t speak out sooner:

Make no mistake: Donald Sterling is the villain of this story. But he’s just a handmaiden to the bigger evil. In our quest for social justice, we shouldn’t lose sight that racism is the true enemy. He’s just another jerk with more money than brains.

So, if we’re all going to be outraged, let’s be outraged that we weren’t more outraged when his racism was first evident. 

Abdul-Jabbar is not the only one outraged. The perpetually outraged Al Sharpton had this to say:

According to the Reverend Al Sharpton, if the NBA does not come forward with a decision, he will begin calling on advertisers to withdraw starting tomorrow. On Meet the Press today Rev. Sharpton shared:

“Well, I think that clearly the National Basketball Association must suspend him,” said Reverend Sharpton. “Or must say that, ‘We’re going to remove any kind of imprimatur we have on this team if he’s the owner.’ You cannot have someone own an NBA team in this country and have these kind of attitudes.”

Sharpton said this of Sterling: “You must remember, he settled multi-million dollar discrimination lawsuits in the past, so he has a background. So what we said in National Action Network is the NBA ought to move right away. Let’s not play games. They say they’re going to investigate.”

Sharpton is, of course, a giant hypocrite. He and Sterling were both receiving awards at the 2014 NAACP gala. If Sharpton was so angered by Sterling’s past legal troubles, he certainly never mentioned it nor did he boycott the NAACP over Sterling’s second honor.

Reverend Sharpton says we can’t “have someone own an NBA team in this country and have these kind of attitudes,” yet there’s no outrage that the NAACP honored a man –three times –with these kind of attitudes. 

The good news is the media is starting to cover this strange relationship between the NAACP and Sterling, and I don’t think the racial-grievance industry is going to like what gets reported. 

 

 

 

Tags: NBA

NBA Bans Donald Sterling for Life, Fine of $2.5 Million



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Shaquille O’Neal Mocks a Fan on Instagram



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Shaquille O’Neal called Donald Sterling’s private comments “repugnant.” What word would Shaq use describe the mocking of the defenseless in public? I’d use, “ass,” but am open to other, stronger suggestions that can make it past the censors.

Via the New York Post:

Former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal is under fire for mocking a disabled fan’s selfie.

The retired athlete posted a picture on Instagram of his own contorted face next to Jahmel Binion’s selfie.

FOX 2 reports the post, captioned “Smile today,” earned more than 14,000 likes, with former University of Michigan athlete Trey Burke and rapper Waka Flocka Flame joining in on the teasing.

The post has been deleted. But for Binion, the damage has been done.

And here’s the picture:

I wonder what the Venn diagram looks like of the 14,000 people who “liked” the above photo and agreed with Shaq on Sterling’s comments? 

Tags: NBA

Does Sterling Have to Give Back His Other Two NAACP Awards?



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The NAACP just announced that it is rescinding Don Sterling’s 2014 “Lifetime Achievement” award.

However, Sterling won a NAACP Lifetime Achievement award in 2009 and a NAACP President’s Award in 2008. From his bio on the website of the Clippers:

He has received many honors, including the 2009 NAACP Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2008 BBA Humanitarian of the Year Award, the 2008 NAACP President’s Award, the 2006 Say Yes to Children Network ChildrenÂ’s Hero Award, the 1999 MDA Dennis Day Memorial Award, the 1998 Los Angeles Yeshiva Golden Menorah Humanitarian of the Year Award, the Asthma & Allergy Foundation 1998 Humanitarian of the Year Award, the Vista Del Mar Orphanage 1997 Man of the Year and the Gold Medal Humanitarian of the Year by the Special Olympics.

 

Tags: NBA

Donald Sterling Set to Receive NAACP Award



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I wonder if the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP is having second thoughts on honoring Clippers’ owner Don Sterling with a “Lifetime Achievement” award? And what is Sterling’s photograph policy?

Tags: NBA

Brooklyn to Honor Brooklyn



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This Borough of Churches native grinned upon noticing Darren Rovell’s piece on ESPN New York, reporting that the Brooklyn Nets will honor the Brooklyn Dodgers with a new alternate uniform later this season.

I am no fan of the short-sleeve jersey fad but admit that this one looks pretty cool. Of course, I could nitpick (Me nitpick? Never!) by pointing out that, while the Dodgers wore the blue on gray while on the road, the Nets are unveiling the uni at a March 21st home game against the Celtics.

More here.

Tags: NBA

Alonzo Mourning Now Selling Obamacare



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Yesterday it was Magic Johnson, today it’s Alonzo Mourning hyping the need for the young and healthy to purchase Obamacare. Oddly, both NBA stars don’t mention that buying insurance is a mandated and that you must buy it, not that you should buy it:

Is it too much to ask for Team Obama to post an honest advertisement for the legislation bearing his name?

Exit question: Since these ads are targeting young “invincibles” on a tight budget, is it realistic to think that old multi-millionaires will be effective spokespeople? 

Tags: NBA

Magic Johnson Now Selling Obamacare



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Via the White House blog, Magic is pitching Obamacare for young people:

 

Tags: NBA

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