Not to be too repetitive and keep writing about Donald Sterling, but part of the coverage of this situation has really bothered me. That is, everyone claiming what they would do if they were in the Clippers situation, and what the team should do. Stop it already.
In case you haven’t noticed, this situation is highly irregular. It’s not everyday a franchise owner makes statements that become public that anger the entire general public so much, including his own players. Not to mention this is all happening during the middle of a playoff run for a team that feels it can win a championship. So it’s easy for me to sit here and say “the Clippers should boycott the games,” but these guys have waited their entire lives for an opportunity like this. They’re playing a game they love, so why should one twisted old man stop them? Two people in particular have irked me with their public comments. One is Chauncey Billups, who yesterday said “There’s no way I would have played that game. It’s more than basketball. It’s bigger than Game 4 of a first-round playoff series. This is about what my grandparents and their parents and their parents went through to make it possible for us attain these jobs and have this life,” (link below). To me that is ridiculous, it’s the easiest thing in the world to be in Chauncey’s position and say what someone else should do. I would love to have seen if Chauncey would follow through with those words in 2004 when he was on a run to the NBA Finals. The other person is Warrior’s coach Mark Jackson, who has implored Clippers fans to not attend Game 5. Wow Mark, so big of you to tell the opposing fans not to show up to a game in which the Clippers would ordinarily hold home-court advantage. If Jackson felt so strongly about sticking it to Sterling, he would join the Clippers and suggest both teams sit out the game. That would send a message. Until then save your hollow words, because they’re meaningless.
The people who need to step up here are Sterling’s longtime enablers, the other owners and the league office. Sure Sterling’s reign of terror mostly occurred under David Stern’s watch, but Commissioner Silver served as his main lieutenant for years so he doesn’t get a pass here. The Clippers players would only be punishing themselves by denying themselves a chance at their dream. Let players play, let the executives take care of this mess, at least until after the season. Then, if the Clippers players want to demand out of LA, that’s their prerogative. For now, everyone claiming to know what they would do in this situation, or what the Clippers should do, just save it.