April 29, 2014

"I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers association or the NBA."

"Mr. Sterling may not attend any NBA games or practices, he may not be present at any Clippers facility, and he may not participate in any business or decisions involving the team."

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced just now. He's also imposing a $2.5 million fine and urging the owners to vote to force Sterling to sell the team. The press conference was quite interesting, with many references to the NBA constitution and Silver's powers under it, which, of course, I have never studied. Obviously, Silver has his lawyers. It's interesting that so much could be done so quickly and in the heat of immediate outrage over remarks made in what was a private conversation with one other person.

ADDED: Silver is getting praise for his great leadership, and there was immense pressure on him to act to control the severe damage to the interests of the team's players. I question how much process he gave to Sterling — other than to get a confession that the voice on the tape was Sterling's — but I am guessing that Silver determined that it was worth it to act boldly and to deal with Sterling's legal responses after the fact.

AND: I'm looking for the text of the NBA Constitution, and the closest I've come is to a forum discussing why the NBA Constitution is not publicly available. AND: This is useful, from an article on the Sterling case in The Wall Street Journal a couple days ago:
"Requiring the sale of a team would be the most severe sanction," said sports lawyer Jeffrey Kessler, a partner at Winston & Strawn LLP. "But I believe the NBA would take the position that the commissioner has the necessary authority to take action." He said article 35 of the NBA's constitutional bylaws—which aren't public—gives the commissioner those powers.
So the commissioner has a lot of powers, but I can't look at the text and see what they are. Oh, great leader, Silver, could you release the document (if that's one of your powers under the document to be released)? How secret is this association of owners? What are they hiding?

And what troubles me, in addition to the truncated process, is that Sterling was around for a long time. What was already known about him and why was no action taken before this all suddenly boiled over with the publication of a private conversation? There's a point in the press conference when Silver is asked about this, and his answer felt evasive to me. First, he said that the lawsuits against Sterling hadn't found him "guilty." (But if the commissioner has great powers and information became known through the litigation, why couldn't the commissioner do something even if the courts did not?) Second, he said he's never seen anything else that was on this level. (What are these levels of racism, and why is this new incident so radically different from whatever other levels have been seen before?)

MORE: Deadspin prints the text of that Article 35 Kessler cited [ADDED: I've deleted the long text which you can read at the link], and Deadspin notes that the language relates to power over the players and not the owners. Is there another article defining "Player" to include owners? (I mean that to sound ludicrous. I'm guessing that the owner is referred to by the term "Member."

Is that not the Article 35 Kessler was talking about? Or was Kessler wrong about the rules?

IN THE COMMENTS: Freeman Hunt says:
So for years this guy makes racist comments, is accused of racist hiring practices, is accused of racist rental practices, is on record about using prostitutes, and openly flaunts his young woman on the side at his games, but nobody knew he was a bad, bad man until this incident.

Please.

Nobody who knew him cared before because of money, and they only care now because of money. None of these sanctions will affect him much in the end because of... wait for it... money.

It's all PR theater. If character were really an NBA concern then Sterling would've been gone a long time ago.
UPDATE: Here's the PDF of the previously secret NBA constitution.

137 comments:

RecChief said...

This just confirms my belief that this isn't America anymore.

no matter how revolting Sterling's comments, or even how revolting he is personally, when did this become ok?

Of course, I am sure Brandon Eich thought the same thing.

Big Mike said...

Sterling and Silver. This is too rich.

grackle said...

The NBA owners came through with flying colors. This was an act of self-preservation. Anything other than getting rid of the bigot could have been fatal to the NBA. Now I can watch the Clippers, one of the most exciting teams in all of sports.

Bob Ellison said...

It's not a courtroom. It's a club. Silver is doing everything he can to throw Sterling out of the club. That's not un-American, and it's understandable.

Marshal said...

It's good the NBA came out strong, albeit 4 days late.

But I don't think the NBA knows they can do this. The article I read says Silver is going to "try" to force him to sell. But Sterling is known to be stubborn and litigious, and I don't know how the courts can uphold the NBA's decision when everything I read says the right to evict is not general but limited to a few enumerated circumstances. The court isn't going to rewrite contract law because someone entered a contract with a racist.

The NBA should have both the owner with the best relationship and the owner with the worst relationship with Sterling visit him. The economics are such that he's going to have to sell the team eventually.

He's already lost his sponsors, and once the current crop of players are gone he'll never be able to put together a good team. He'll have to pay a material premium for players and due to the salary cap will he never sign another star (because he cannot offer a premium to a "max" player). If he happens to draft a star he'll leave when his rookie contract is up. Fans won't show up to see the worst team in NBA history which is also under a cloud of racism. And the NBA can keep him off their national TV telecasts forever.

So his option is selling now or suffering a decade of losses and then selling. It's in everyone's interest he sell, someone just has to show him his BATNA sucks.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...


Racist Spike Lee had a front row seat at press conference, and has an NBA approved radio show. Perfect!

I'm now officially adopting George Carlin's attitude. Detached bemusement at the circus.

Scott M said...

It's interesting that so much could be done so quickly and in the heat of immediate outrage over remarks made in what was a private conversation with one other person.

When push comes to shove, monarchies, even constitutional ones, can be very agile.

Joaquin said...

He was set-up.
Who wants an NBA team in LA?
Why would that chick all of the sudden start secretly taping him?
What did she have to gain?
Who was she buddies with?
Who can come in, buy the team, and save the day?

David said...

Let the feast of the lawyers begin.

rhhardin said...

Every process is run at the intelligence of soap opera women, is why.

The media audience.

They must not tune away, so everything will seek their interest and approval.

It's a business arrangement between the media and any story-supplying interest group they can deal with.

Lyssa said...

I realize that the guy is 80, so "life" is not likely to be that much time, but doesn't that seem sort of extreme? We impose lifelong penalties on people who are completely beyond redemption, i.e., murderers, etc. I don't particularly like the idea that we're considering racists, particularly racists who are not really acting on their racism*, to be beyond redemption.

* I know that there are allegations that he acted on his racism as a landlord, but that's been out there for a while and there were even a couple of cases on it, and the NBA did nothing, so I have trouble counting them.

Scott M said...

Now that I think about it...is it such a stretch to think of the NBA, or NFL, etc, as constitutional monarchies? With the owners as the landed aristocracy comprising a house of lords, so to speak? A titular figurehead that has broad power, but still compelled by written agreements as to what he/she can or can't do?

They aren't publicly traded, so are wholly private enterprises by those owners, correct? Each with their own little fiefdoms of sports commerce.

persiflage mahal said...

The hypocrisy is staggering. We truly are in some New Victorian age.

Roughcoat said...

Bottom line: a man is being punished for personal opinions expressed in a private conversation.

Shouldn't Crack Emcee be punished for his racialist rhetoric?

LarsPorsena said...

He hired Elgin Baylor back in the 80's to be only the second black general manager in the league.

He's never shafted a black player re money.

He canned Vinnie Del Negro (white guy) to hire Doc Rivers.

Lured Chris Paul to this team.

Left his wife for a half-balck woman.

What he actually did in his life is not as important than what he said.

Ann Althouse said...

"I realize that the guy is 80, so "life" is not likely to be that much time, but doesn't that seem sort of extreme?"

Extreme in view of what? You're saying extreme in view of what he did (which was to criticize his girlfriend in private using a lot of racial material along with typical assholian control moves as she, with whatever ulterior motives, facilitated his self-expression).

But it's not extreme in view of the ends Silver has: It must satisfy everyone who is upset and outraged, clamp a lid onto the overflowing feelings in and toward basketball, and to isolate and totally compartmentalize the virulent disease so that it doesn't bloat up and explode all over everyone.

Pookie Number 2 said...

Obviously, Sterling's comments were contemptible.

Still, mob rule doesn't have a very impressive track record of predictability or restraint.

Oso Negro said...

The levels of racism are:
1) the belief that people of any race other than your own are inferior and should be killed on contact
2) the belief that some races other than your own are inferior and should be killed in contact
3) the belief that races not your own can and should be subjugated and exploited
4) the belief that races other than your own are in all attributes inferior
5) the belief that members of a race may be judged to have attributes associated with their respective race without regard to individual differences
6) the belief that it is ok to discriminate in private and public matters according to race
7) the use of derogatory terms such as jigaboo, jungle bunny or nigger
8) anything the beta male douchebag progressive hipster sitting next to you at Starbucks say it is

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Ann wrote: But it's not extreme in view of the ends Silver has: It must satisfy everyone who is upset and outraged, clamp a lid onto the overflowing feelings in and toward basketball, and to isolate and totally compartmentalize the virulent disease so that it doesn't bloat up and explode all over everyone.

So he's collateral damage. I get it.

Char Char Binks said...

I forgot that there was a basketball team called the Clippers until I reports of this man and this woman I had never heard of before. He gets to keep his money, doesn't he? No doubt she'll get some of that, too.

Titus said...

Sterling Silver would be a great drag name.

Zeb Quinn said...

Sterling will sell the Clips at a HUGE profit.

The open question is whether he will sue the NBA back to the stone age.

AReasonableMan said...

Sterling has been a disgraceful owner for a long time, which is why everyone has been so anxious to get rid of him now. This is not the response to just one isolated incident. He has a history of incidents and has been the worst team owner in major sports for a long time. His survival until now can only be attributed to him having some hold over David Stern, who is now gone.

MadisonMan said...

I've never seen a Pro BBall game, except for one Memphis Grizzlies game way back when Pau Gasol played there (He was their lone good player).

What a bunch of rich white million/billionaires decide to do about this troubles me very little.

The clucking approval from race hustlers is a lot more troubling than whatever the owner did or did not say, IMO.

Sorun said...

What are these levels of racism

I bet Sterling is the guy who asked
that woman in Madison what she was doing for Black History Month. Racist.

eric said...

Seattle has been trying to get a team for awhile now, ever since they sold the Supersonics.

My guess is the Clippers will be moving to Seattle soon and renamed the Supersonics.

Although I think that name is pretty lame.

Wouldn't the name be more interesting if it were named after your mom's silverware set? Sterling Silver.

Iapetus said...

So it appears that a group headed by Magic Johnson has expressed interest in buying the Clippers from Sterling, no doubt at a firesale price considering the circumstances of Sterling's banishment from the NBA. How convenient this crisis becomes for Johnson, when he was the prominent close personal "friend" of Sterling's mistress (whore?) to whom Sterling objected. It looks to me as if things may be working according to plan. A setup like this, if true, couldn't happen to a more unsympathetic guy...a real patsy. I'm curious how much of a commission Sterling's mistress will get for playing her part.

LarsPorsena said...

AReasonableMan said...
Sterling has been a disgraceful owner for a long time, which is why everyone has been so anxious to get rid of him now. This is not the response to just one isolated incident. He has a history of incidents and has been the worst team owner in major sports for a long time.

-------------------------

If so why was he inline for an NCAAP award?

Roughcoat said...


Extreme in view of what?

It's extreme in the sense that it is absolute, which is a definition of extreme.

With regard to Silver's ends: none of the points you list refute the extreme nature of the punishment. On the contrary, those points argue for an extreme punishment. Which, I believe, was Silver's intention.

Anthony said...

Finally, our long national nightmare is over and we can get back to trivial things like how many times the Obama administration has lied to advance its political agenda.

Oh wait. . . .

AustinRoth said...

I fail to see how this possibly holds up in court. Expressing racist views is not proof of racist activities towards his team, which is the only reason the NBA could, after due process, possibly prevail.

In the end, this will cost the NBA a ton of money, and years of bad publicity (an yes, there IS such a thing as bad publicity).

This will open a Pandora's Box of PC-related problems for the NBA, and the first stop will be the pervasive homophobia of the players, followed by the misogynist culture of the entire NBA.

If you don't think Silver's lawyers will drag every owner, player and NBA exec through the mud, you haven't followed his career and his MO.

Marty Keller said...

RecChief for the win--and right off the dime!

Unknown said...

Isn't professional sports a business, with (like) contracts and everything? Did h break a franchise rule? Can the franchise parent make new rules and act on the rule retroactively?

I don't care at all about this guy, but a company can't act like the government because the company can be sued for breach of contract. For commerce, contract laws have consequences.

Bob R said...

This should be thought of as a public relations stunt far more than a legal action. The NBA is trying to get in front of the publicity. There is huge pressure on Sterling to sell right now - prices for teams are at an all time high (compare the sale of the Timberwolves to the way the Hornets were shopped a few years ago), the Clippers corporate sponsors are pulling out in droves, the chance of any black free agent signing with a team owned by Sterling is about zero. So in some sense the NBA is taking credit for the inevitable. Yes, he can sue, but the NBA can sue him. They have sustained quantifiable damage because of his actions. Even if Sterling can keep this in litigation for a long time, the NBA is going to be on the "right side" in public opinion.

And about the public/private thing - when an 80-year-old man has a 30-year-old mistress, can anything between them be very private?

RecChief said...


But it's not extreme in view of the ends Silver has: It must satisfy everyone who is upset and outraged, clamp a lid onto the overflowing feelings in and toward basketball,


You should Kareem Abdul Jabbar's comments on this selective outrage.

Roughcoat said...

Sterling's punishment won't affect him, won't change him to become a non-racist. This punishment is, as the French so delightfully phrase it, "pour encourager les autres." Which was the stated intent for executing the ringleaders and other guilty (and not-so-guilty) parties after the French army mutinies in 1917. See Kubrick's "Paths of Glory."

And see Sterling's punishment. "For the encouragement of the troops."

RecChief said...

He has a history of incidents and has been the worst team owner in major sports for a long time

I thought Dan Snyder was the worst team owner. Who is going to be "The Worst Team Owner!!11!!!!!!" next month?

CWJ said...

Sterling's the zebra at the edge of the herd that the hyenas get to kill so the rest of the herd can continue to graze.

Of course, after a time the hyenas will once again need to be fed.

AJ Lynch said...

"Racial consciousness" is one of your tags? Every time I think you are too smart to be dumb, you find a way or a word or a phrase to bring me back to reality.

AJ Lynch said...

On average, I don't think NBA teams make a lot of money.

Roughcoat said...


It's all just another act in America's increasingly grotesque racialist auto-da-fé.

AReasonableMan said...

LarsPorsena said...
If so why was he inline for an NCAAP award?


The incidents are not just related to race. Here and here are his discussions of his use of high priced hookers. He was also the worst team owner in professional sports in terms of running a successful organization.

The league is a business competing for rare entertainment dollars. Hard to argue that Sterling is an asset to the league and they apparently have the right to fire him for his sub-standard performance.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Sterling's objections to his now ex-girlfriend about who she could bring to games has simply been turned about on Sterling.

A ban for life could be rescinded at some later date if and when amends have been made, and then it would not be for life.

Larry J said...

This is just a question I'd like to throw out there. I have no idea about the answer.

What if Sterling simply decided to disband the Clippers? He does own the team, after all. Although the announcement said that he can have no say in the governance of the team, the man who ultimately signs the paychecks does indeed have some say.

LarsPorsena said...

AReasonableMan said...
LarsPorsena said...
If so why was he inline for an NCAAP award?

The incidents are not just related to race. Here and here are his discussions of his use of high priced hookers. He was also the worst team owner in professional sports in terms of running a successful organization.

The league is a business competing for rare entertainment dollars. Hard to argue that Sterling is an asset to the league and they apparently have the right to fire him for his sub-standard performance.

4/29/14, 3:35 PM
__________________________________


Oh my! freaky sex...not in the NBA. LOL ...you're so lame.

Scott M said...

It's all just another act in America's increasingly grotesque racialist auto-da-fé.

Auto-da-fe'? What's an auto-da-fe'?

It's what you oughtn't to do, but you do anyway.

Seeing Red said...

Follow the money.who is buying the team?

Thorley Winston said...

If so why was he inline for an NCAAP award?

Because the check cleared.

damikesc said...

I find it odd that being a bigot in an illegally recorded conversation will get you banned for life from the NBA...but running into the stands and assaulting fans in the stands won't. Live and learn.

dwick said...

"There's a point in the press conference when Silver is asked about this, and his answer felt evasive to me. First, he said that the lawsuits against Sterling hadn't found him "guilty." (But if the commissioner has great powers and information became known through the litigation, why couldn't the commissioner do something even if the courts did not?) Second, he said he's never seen anything else that was on this level. (What are these levels of racism, and why is this new incident so radically different from whatever other levels have been seen before?)"

Silver has only been Commissioner for 3 months. Instead of pounding on him for what happened or didnt happen in the past, maybe people should be questioning David Stern. He was NBA Commissioner for the 30 years prior to 2/1/14 when Silver took over.

Clayton Hennesey said...

Joaquin said...

He was set-up.
Who wants an NBA team in LA?
Why would that chick all of the sudden start secretly taping him?
What did she have to gain?
Who was she buddies with?
Who can come in, buy the team, and save the day?

Given the circumstances of the remarks, this is a very tempting perspective to entertain. At the very best girlfriend doesn't understand the notion of not killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

It's also quite clear that these are isolated moves being made within the confines of a very rarified private club.

All that being said, though, the general takeaway is this. Because the charge of racism is both purely subjective and purely opportunistic, and because one never can know when some less rarified version of this scenario might be acted out against one, the prudent course is to view blacks and other minorities as imminent liabilities to be avoided if the cost doesn't prove prohibitively high. Don't talk about them as minorities, don't deal with them in any direct way if at all possible, buy a hockey team instead and let Al Sharpton purchase the Clippers.

The counterargument of course is, well, just don't be a racist asshole - except that such a condition is definitively simply not possible. There is simply no unequivocal non-racist position: anyone can be charged as a racist at any time, and in point of fact "race-sensitivity", or racism, is one of the most thriving currents within our contemporary social and political discourse. We seek it out the way Salem sought witches.

So...simply avoid the racial liabilities that minorities present if at all possible, silently and unobtrusively.

RecChief said...

He was also the worst team owner in professional sports in terms of running a successful organization.

But the franchise that he bought for 12.5 million is now worth 200 million. All while never winning anything, and acting as the farm team for the rest of the league by being so miserly as to trade off young talent before he had to sign them to big contracts. So..umm..yeah, you were saying?

Thorley Winston said...

I fail to see how this possibly holds up in court. Expressing racist views is not proof of racist activities towards his team, which is the only reason the NBA could, after due process, possibly prevail.


The NBA is not a government body nor held to the standards of “due process” that a government body is. They operate under the own rules (which they have chosen not to make public for the most part as is their right) so they could in fact have a rule that says “if you say or do something that leads to a majority of the owners to vote or the commissions elected by said owners to say you have to sell your team, then you have to sell your team” then he could be stuck with that. Courts uphold agreements that are voluntarily entered into by competent adults which may seem pretty silly to non-parties all the time.

Michael K said...

"The court isn't going to rewrite contract law because someone entered a contract with a racist. "

Oh, for a moment there I thought you were referring to player contracts !

Like the guy who wants a black NBA. OK by me.

RecChief said...

apparently have the right to fire him for his sub-standard performance.

Can't you read? He isn't being "fired" for sub-standard performace, the clippers have been sub-standard performers for years, but no one complained about the way he ran his business, trading off or not signing talent so he would nt' have to pay huge contracts.

Hey remember when we let the KKK march in Illinois, and the entire country fell apart because because we adhered to our principles about free speech? yeah me neither you puritanical fuck

Freeman Hunt said...

So for years this guy makes racist comments, is accused of racist hiring practices, is accused of racist rental practices, is on record about using prostitutes, and openly flaunts his young woman on the side at his games, but nobody knew he was a bad, bad man until this incident.

Please.

Nobody who knew him cared before because of money, and they only care now because of money. None of these sanctions will affect him much in the end because of... wait for it... money.

It's all PR theater. If character were really an NBA concern then Sterling would've been gone a long time ago.

Nichevo said...

I'm sorry ARM did you just suggest the existence of a MORALS CLAUSE for the NBA?

Ha

Haha

Hahaha

Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Ha.

n.n said...

The precedent was set when civil rights incorporated and its aggressive, unbalanced methods gained a psuedo-constitutional legitimacy. It's now merely a protection racket designed to marginalize, eviscerate, or otherwise exploit competing interests.

That said, Sterling knew the rules of the game. He is not a member of a protected class, or rather he is a member of a reviled class. Apparently, only abortionists, murderers, rapists and rape-rapists, are worthy of rehabilitation. Well, that's politics and greedy bastards.

rhhardin said...

Candide What a day, what a day, for an auto-da-fé youtube

HoodlumDoodlum said...

AReasonableMan said...
The incidents are not just related to race. Here and here are his discussions of his use of high priced hookers.

Uh, I think you mean he remunerated historically-oppressed persons (women) who engaged in sex-positive, Goddess-approved sex work. Oh, but that's capitalistic, though, so maybe it was bad after all. But anyway that would be "just sex" and something something Lena Dunham.

Who else bets Sterling was fascinated with Magic Johnson's hair and frequently asked to touch it?

CWJ said...

ARM @ 3:35,

Why quote LarsPorsena's qustion if you are not even going to pretend to answer it?

Tarrou said...

And I further decree that he be drawn, quartered, beaten with an inch of his life, hung, beheaded and fined fifty dollars!

STOP DISAGREEING YOU RACISTS!

Iapetus said...

"The league is a business competing for rare entertainment dollars."

RARE? Hardly. Yet the folks who are willing to pay top dollar for high priced tickets to NFL and NBA games are the same ones who will complain they don't have enough money to retire. If life is that tough, how come the sports stadiums and arenas are so packed with fans? Why aren't they completely empty?

gadfly said...

I think that Neil, the black guy from Dallas who called Rush today has scoped this little entrapment that got Sterling in trouble.

Let me sum up Neil's theory. Sterling's 81 and has dementia. By the actuarial tables, he's gonna die sooner than later. The NAALCP and all the charities have gotten as much money out of the guy as you're gonna get. They bled him dry. He's had to pay for all of his past transgressions.

He's paid up. He's donated here and he's donated there to cover things up, and now it's time to get his team. So they get this groupie to go in there and become his sugar baby. She's got this tape recorder, and her story is that he asked her to tape him because his memory's failing and he thinks he says brilliant things and he wants to be able to remember 'em.

In truth, the whole thing is a setup 'cause this is a groupie. This babe knows all kinds of athletes. She hangs around with Dodgers players. She's in a picture with Magic Johnson. That's what ticked the guy off, don't forget. That's what ticked-him off: She's in a picture with Magic. So now they bled the stone dry. He's donated as much as they're gonna get. They want to get the team before he can bequeath it to his family, and he's being set up.


. . . and Magic Johnson gets his NBA team.

Expat(ish) said...

How can they ban him from games?

I mean, that seems mighty odd.

-XC

Titus said...

I wonder if his 80 year old hog was still able to give the hooker girlfriend a goo pounding?

Maybe they did just oral.

What is going to happen to her?

EDH said...

Seems to me the sowing of this windy precedent will either reap the whirlwind or a mother load of hypocrisy.

Bill said...

He's 81; she' 31. I guess that makes him a player.

But Deadspin has made the correction, and linked to the alleged owner constitution. An owner can be removed on 3/4 vote for "willfully violating" the constitution or bylaws, agreements, or resolutions of the NBA.

That doesn't take much to remove him then, other than the votes, and he can be axed if there is any anti-discrimination provision. He instructed his girlfriend/archivist not to hang out with black people in his place of business. That's got to violate some agreement somewhere.

Patrick O said...

It reminds me of what happened with the Dodgers and the McCourts.

Not exact situation, but similar enough especially looking long term at how Sterling has run the Clippers.

I predict a sale and that the Clippers aren't long for Los Angeles.

Will Magic Johnson make an appearance again, this time in the sale?

FleetUSA said...

I think Ellison is right. The NBA is a private club conducting a public business and the members can eject anyone for bad behavior which reflects on the club.

John said...

Steve Sailer is all over this. Start here:

http://isteve.blogspot.com/2014/04/magic-johnson-ultimate-cleanser-sports.html

1) He has listened to the tapes and says they feel like entrapment that the hooker was asking leading questions to elicit a certain response.

2) There are supposedly 100 hours of tape but only a minute or two have been released.

3) Is it really Sterling on the tape? NBA says that it had forensic analysis done and yes but Sterling has not confirmed it

4) Magic Johnson is front man for Guggenheim partners. Michael Milken, who after jail and disgrace is still worth a couple billion$ keeps his money there.

5) SEC is investigating Guggenheim since last year to see if Milken is violating his lifetime ban on getting paid for securities advice.

6) The hooker's lawyer, according to Steve, seems an unlikely source for this kind of suit. Steve speculates he is a front for Guggenheim's lawyers.

7) Sterling gave the hooker somehwhere well north of $2mm. 2 Bentleys, a Ferrari, LandRover, apartment and $250m cash and more. Sterling's wife is suing her to get it back. The hooker threatened to get even.

8) The taping is illegal. How come nobody has complained about the hooker doing this? Shouldn't she be facing charges? She is the one who broke the law, Sterling is the one paying the price.

As others have said, this whole thing stinks to high heaven. Not that Sterling is such a sterling fellow. He did pay a $2.9mm a few years back for racial discrimination. Where was the outrage then?

If he is such a horrible character how come the NAACP has given him one lifetime achievement award and was set to give him another. (Oh, yeah. For the money.)

I think this is a scam to try and force Sterling to sell the team which he does not want to sell.

It feels like blackmail. Like extortion too but more like the blackmail techniques practiced by Jesse Jackson, Sharpton and others in the victim movement.

John Henry

Skeptical Voter said...

Well Sterling already has a "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the Los Angeles chapter of the NAACP, given to him in 2009. He was up for his second lifetime achievement award from the same group--to be given in mid May 2014. Guess that one's gone away! But like Obama's Nobel Prize, the 2009 award to Sterling has to mean something.

Look, I don't much like Sterling. For 30 years he was a cheap bastard who ran the Clippers on a shoe string budget. The franchise was a joke. When Sterling got a good young player (courtesy of being last in the standings, first in the draft) he'd sell him after a couple of years.

For whatever reason about three years ago Sterling started to spend money on the team--and the team responded and became very entertaining to watch.

But Sterling made those statements, and now he's being turned into as much of a "non person" as ever occurred in Stalinist Russia.

The Los Angeles City Council led by Bernard Parks (who's a good friend of Magic Johnson) has just passed a resolution saying that the Los Angeles Times should not accept any advertisements from any company related to Sterling.

Since Sterling has several thousand rental units in Los Angeles, newspaper ads are a good way to find renters. But Parks (an African American) wants to cut that off Sterling.

Well a lot of other things are being "cut off" Sterling in this feeding frenzy.

Some bright spark in this hounding is going to suggest that Sterling be executed by flame thrower--a recent trend in execution of political enemies in North Korea. It's just about come to that.

God spare sinners like Sterling from the self righteous.

m stone said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
William said...

Sterling is the big loser, but he will still die rich and unrepentant. The team is now worth a lot less. His wife is supposed to get half his assets, so she turns out to be a big loser. The LA NAACP doesn't look like a class act. Put them down in the losers column. The NBA has cut their losses, but I still put them down as net losers.......Maybe the girlfriend has other tapes that will inhibit Stirling or his wife from taking any legal action against her. Maybe she has a side deal with Magic Johnson. At at any rate, she's definitely got a Bentley. I don't think she'll end up in the losers' column......There's a lot about this case that offends one's sense of justice. So far there have been two cases of girlfriends with an agenda and a recording device. Mel Gibson and now Sterling are not beloved by the media or public opinion. The feeling is that they got what they deserved.but I think every NBA player and lots of movie stars have reason to fear this precedent.

kimsch said...

David Geffen also appears to be interested in the purchase of the Clippers.

The team's in the playoffs which should increase its value, yet now it might be subject to a fire sale at a discount...

Inquiring minds want to know - who benefits?

Gahrie said...

The bastard and class clown in me kind of hopes the Clippers win the championship now.

Bob K said...

I doubt they can make him sell the team, but if they can, he should price it 150 million above its value. I heard its estimated to be worth 600-650 million. Make the other owners chip in to cover 150 million above that.

If they are that interested in having him sell, over something so trivial in the scheme of things, it looks to me like it just became a seller's market.

Bob K said...

I doubt they can make him sell the team, but if they can, he should price it 150 million above its value. I heard its estimated to be worth 600-650 million. Make the other owners chip in to cover 150 million above that.

If they are that interested in having him sell, over something so trivial in the scheme of things, it looks to me like it just became a seller's market.

Nichevo said...

I posted but Meade didn't like my six pages of laughter at your notion of a morals clause for the nba, ARM, so let me just say that you apparently cannot find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy, outside of Mos Eiseley spaceport, than your average NBA team, and I have no doubt that extends up and down. A secret Constitution? YGBSM.

OMG Sterling is a whoremonger? He probably did it just to fit in. Except I would dimly think the players pull hotter chicks.

Sam L. said...

Sterling's lawyer may have other thoughts on this. I hope so. Gots to be lots-o-mud to splash around.

Rusty said...

Anthony said...
Finally, our long national nightmare is over and we can get back to trivial things like how many times the Obama administration has lied to advance its political agenda.

Thank you, Anthony for putting this in the perspective it deserves.

Valentine Smith said...

There's a lesson here for every bimbo surrounding NBA players: Get it on tape. All of it.

Can't wait for the first recording of a pro b-ball locker room.

We'll see how righteous they are then.

Curious George said...

Not sure where all this pushback is coming from. The NBA is a private organization, having a racist owner ism't good for them, they are looking to protect their self interest.

This isn't cowering to some race baiting asshole like Jesse Jackson. Three quarters of their players are black. Sterling must go.

Michael K said...

"It feels like blackmail. Like extortion too but more like the blackmail techniques practiced by Jesse Jackson, Sharpton and others in the victim movement. "

Lie down with dogs, (the hooker) and get up with fleas.

A morals charge in the NBA. Where is my fainting couch ?

jr565 said...

If this were a player getting fired it would be a lot easier to deal with. Can you FORCE a businessman to sell? And who is he going to sell to?
If he has to sell for a loss, won't he have grounds to sue?

traditionalguy said...

Sterling is the problem. His life is used to money buying anything and anybody. So he has never changed from an arrogant plantation owner's attitude, since so far it cost him no pain to stay the same.

Now the NBA (the other 29 owners) is desperate to get back out in front of the teams and players it is supposed to be to be leading.

The NBA has power to revoke a Franchise, and/or to cancel draft choices, and/or declare the Clipper players free agents. All they have to do is stay united to exercise those powers.

Sterling is history. His current pain for not changing his racist attitudes is coming too late to save him. Which is what our friend Crack Emcee has been trying to point out at teachable moments.

Matt said...

I approve of Silver's actions banning Sterling. This isn't about First Amendment rights. This is about stupid speech that creates a hostile environment. Business owners everywhere understand you can't have discriminatory attitudes like this. Especially in the NBA. Why was this guy an owner in the first place?

I can only hope Sterling sells the team. Otherwise the Clippers are done as an organization until he is gone. No quality players will want to play for him, few advertisers will pay to be associated with the team. And that's not good for anyone.

AReasonableMan said...

Freeman Hunt said...
It's all PR theater. If character were really an NBA concern then Sterling would've been gone a long time ago.


You are ignoring the role of David Stern. For whatever reason Stern supported him for thirty years. Stern is now gone and with him that support apparently. No one has been blind to his behavior but only the NBA commissioner has any ability to do anything about it. If Stern was still commissioner I would bet that Sterling would have only received a fine and, maybe, a brief suspension.

Joe said...

Putting aside Sterling's assholery, just how legal are the NBA's actions?

What is the difference between Sterling saying dumbass things and Eich supporting an anti-samesex marriage initiative?

Dumb shit comes out of Mark Cuban's mouth just about every day. Where is the NBA going to draw the line?

tim in vermont said...

When is the NBA going to update that logo and replace the white guy? I know Jerry West, I think that is who it is, was a great player in his time, but he doesn't look like he could play in the league today with that move and that build.

The Roller said...

Care to know what's really going on?....

Guggenheim and Earvin, (with the "magic" johnson), ... Same group. Different team.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/mikeozanian/2013/06/15/how-frank-mccourt-made-2-billion-from-the-los-angeles-dodgers-and-team-remains-saddles-with-debt/





Supremecourtjester said...

Here is the NBA Constitution Article (13) in question: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/ABPub/2008/07/09/2008042462.pdf

Jon Burack said...

Above all this is a mass spectacle brought to you by the media and the digital revolution. It would otherwise have never been noticed. It is, however, also a classic example of the function of ritual sacrifice as practiced in many primitive societies, and from what I have seen it has unleashed the same irrational fury and self-righteous acting out that all ritual sacrifice facilitates. A community rife with internal contradictions and tensions displaces all its smoldering rage and guilt onto a sacrificial victim. The victim becomes the lightening rod diverting all that pent up aggression and gives the community the fantasy of restored solidarity to salve its own bad conscience. The sacrifice is made, the tension is released, but nothing, absolutely nothing, is resolved. Which is why ritual sacrifice is obsessively repetitious in societies that engage in it. The more you do it, the more you need it. Whether or not the victim is actually guilty of anything at all is not even all that relevant. In this case, he was guilty, but to me I say so what? It was a private conversation involving two individuals. Where do we draw the line, inquisitors? No good at all will come of the obscenely over-hyped posturing and calls for blood.

jr565 said...

Yeah, this whole, "there's more to it than racism, there's also the fact that he frequented prostitutes thing" doesn't fly.
How many women did Dr J bed? My guess, a lot of them were prostitutes. Are we going to ban players if they don't live exemplary lives?

jr565 said...

It almost came across like him being cuckolded by her. He basically told her she could associate with blacks all she wanted and even have sex, only don't do it so it gets back to him or in his stadium.

prairie wind said...

The NBA is going to donate his $2.5 million fine to anti-discrimination orgs and tolerance efforts.

...because his racism must not be tolerated.

n.n said...

kimsch:

The timing and circumstance suggests a hostile takeover of Sterling's franchise.

Oh, well. Whether it was entrapment or not, he knew the rules, and did not pay for protection.

Jason said...

Say something stupid in an obvious set-up in a private conversation = Lifetime ban from the NBA.

Convicted of the forcible attempted rape of your child's nanny? No problemo!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruben_Patterson

Roughcoat said...


This is about stupid speech that creates a hostile environment.

A "hostile environment"? For whom, the Clippers players with their multi-million dollar salaries?

It is to laugh.

Talk about stupid speech ...

rcocean said...

Its all amusing in a Soap Opera-ish kind of way.

1) Sterling is a liberal - so his professed anti-racism and love of diversity comes back to bite him.

2) The NBA is an entertainment industry - its true purpose is to make $$$ for the owners and players. So frankly who cares, what they do, or whether the NBA "survives"

3) Its a funny country where Ted Kennedy can kill a women and still run for President and be hailed as a great man, and Clinton can lie under oath and sexually harass his employees, but Sterling says some bad words in a private talk and he's labeled scum that no one should associate with.

John said...

Isn't Magic Johnson the guy who bragged that he had sex with 20,000 different women?

Many of them while he was HIV positive?

How many women got AIDS and died because of Magic Johnson's magical johnson?

THAT should be the real scandal here.

Dead women.

But everybody knows that it is only Republicans who have declared war on women.

John Henry

AReasonableMan said...



Actually, Donald Sterling Is a Registered Republican.

Humperdink said...

Realizing the owners will need to approve the perspective buyer, Sterling should present a list of potential buyers. Rush Limbaugh comes to mind. As does Donald Trump, Herman Cain, the Koch brothers and Thomas Sowell.

And once the NBA fathers reject his buyers, the ensuing lawsuit will enrich Sterling even more.

rhhardin said...

Lie down with dogs, (the hooker) and get up with fleas.

This is not true. I've had a dog on the bed since 1985 and nary a flea.

Lie down with dogs, get up with dogs, would be more accurate.

rhhardin said...

The NBA is known for its diversity, Armstrong and Getty reported somebody saying.

That's why they have to get rid of Sterling.

Joe said...

It was Wilt Chamberlain who claimed to have slept with 20,000 women.

As for the clearly bullshit number. From Wikipedia:

According to Rod Roddewig, a contemporary of Wilt's, the 20,000 number was created when he and Chamberlain were staying in Chamberlain's penthouse in Honolulu during the mid-1980s. He and Chamberlain stayed at the penthouse for 10 days, over the course of which he recorded everything on his Daytimer. For every time Chamberlain went to bed with a different girl he put a check in his daytimer. After those 10 days there were 23 checks in the book, which would be rate of 2.3 women per day. He divided that number in half, to be conservative and to correct for degrees of variation. He then multiplied that number by the number of days he had been alive at the time minus 15 years. That was how the 20,000 number came into existence

SOJO said...

It'll affect his ego and his legacy, which, along with messing around with will/estate/trusts to control their adult children, rule such people where $$$/fines cannot.

chillblaine said...

They say that when you have sex, you are also having sex with every person your partner ever had sex with before you.

I guess then, statistically speaking, that I have probably had sex with Magic Johnson. Excellent.

Paul Golba said...

John, the 20K women guy was Wilt. Magic is the one with HIV.

Mark Cuban has commented on this situation and is opposed to stripping the franchise because of "slippery slope" concerns. He has a point. Stripping franchises too often would probably drive down the value of them. What's the point of buying a team when it can be taken away whenever you tick off enough of the other owners?

I am also curious how the NBA plans to collect the $2.5 million fine while also stripping the franchise. You would think it would be an either/or situation.

As to forcing Sterling out, I think we are at the last Godzilla threshold here. Yeah, it was a private conversation illegally recorded by a sleaze, there is enough hypocrisy going around here for a decade of Congresses, and what he said, while unacceptable, seems more weird than malicious (he probably does have dementia). Regardless, he has managed to alienate his players, his coach, his fans, his sponsors, and is currently threatening the health and perhaps survival of the entire league, not to mention diverting attention from the playoffs for segments of, good grief, Jesse Jackson on Fox Sports 1. If he keeps the team, the best case scenario is the Clippers franchise is permanently crippled until he dies. Not that would be a lot different than the Clippers for the past several decades, but I digress. Worst case: rival league. Survival indicates desperate measures.

That said, Sterling is a lawyer and if you take his franchise away he really has nothing else to do than sue. He’s really not the kind of guy who would settle (what fun is that) and this could get dragged out a long time, assuming he doesn’t die conveniently. It is not inconceivable that he could win, especially if the audio proves to be as heavily edited as claimed and the NBA acted prematurely. (I won’t hold my breath on the audio being sufficiently out of context, but I wouldn’t be completely shocked either.) At this point the NBA might actually not care, more than willing to do or to pay anything. They may regret that eventually.

Jupiter said...

The religious metaphor (auto-da-fe) is appropriate. No one has any remotely plausible argument that might convince Mr. Sterling he was mistaken. He must therefore be convinced that he was imprudent.

rcocean said...

"Lie down with fleas, get up with Fleas."

Lacks something.

Gahrie said...

I am also curious how the NBA plans to collect the $2.5 million fine while also stripping the franchise. You would think it would be an either/or situation.

The Clippers are worth more than $500 million. I've heard as high as $700 million. He's going to pay the fine.

I kind of hope the clippers win the championship so he can throw it in their faces as they kick him out.

cyrus83 said...

This is not great leadership by Silver, it's doing what pleases the mob. Sure, it will please the mob for now and win Silver praise, but what is he going to do the next time the mob comes after one of his owners? And they will be back for sure, now that they know the league will cave. Anyone check to see if any of the owners donated money to the Prop 8 campaign?

Meanwhile, a lifetime ban and $2.5 million for making racist remarks to your girlfriend? The only thing that suggests is that we now treat speech offenders more seriously than murderers and rapists, considering that society does consider some murderers and rapists capable of rehabilitation and return to society after some time in jail, while there is apparently no forgiveness for certain offensive speech.

This modern day thought-crime Puritanism can't be gotten rid of soon enough. At least the Salem witch trials had the mercy to kill their victims instead of branding them for life as reprobates to be shunned.

The Crack Emcee said...

The NAACP is returning Sterling's money, so that racist theory is kaput. Funny how ALL OF YOU missed that. Just like you missed that I've been right about racism all along.

Of course, Sterling's being blackmailed - who wouldn't blackmail a racist? Is there some shame in it? I can't see any.

You're focussing on the wrong "Magic"….

And John Henry is a racist of epic proportions - follow his lead,...

The Crack Emcee said...

Stern's a billionaire. His fine was $250 million.

That's $60.00 if he made $44,000 a year,...

Locomotive Breath said...

Meanwhile about 80% of NBA players are black.

John Stodder said...

Mark Cuban has commented on this situation and is opposed to stripping the franchise because of "slippery slope" concerns. He has a point.

Cuban is now on board with forcing a sale. I think that will make it unanimous.

Stripping franchises too often would probably drive down the value of them. What's the point of buying a team when it can be taken away whenever you tick off enough of the other owners?

He will not be "stripped" of anything. He will be forced to sell. There will probably be an auction. When MLB applied the same sanction to Frank McCourt to get him to stop owning the Dodgers, the final sale price was about half a billion higher than had been estimated. McCourt is no longer an owner (except he hung on to the parking lot at Dodger Stadium), but he is massively richer than when he started with the Dodgers. Sterling and his heirs will be extremely comfortable for many generations, no less so than if he had died a beloved old coot.

It is not inconceivable that he could win, especially if the audio proves to be as heavily edited as claimed and the NBA acted prematurely.

I have seen no reference to the notion that the video was edited. Clipper president Roeser raised that as a possibility in the first hours, but that idea has faded, unless you're reading something I've missed. Roeser, by the way, is now firmly in the anti-Sterling camp. The happiest people in Los Angeles tonight are the Clippers' management and members of Sterling's family, including his wife and his son in law who is an executive with the team.

He is a racist. But he is also a hideously debauched douchebag. Cry all you want about precedents. The NBA is much better off without him, as are the Clippers, as is Los Angeles. He was a mean, litigious, decadent scumbag.

Kirk Parker said...

Re: IN THE COMMENTS.

Freeman is a national treasure of sanity.

I'd move we give her some kind of official recognition, except for fear this might somehow dull her perception.

Rusty said...

This is about stupid speech that creates a hostile environment.


No. It is about a mob. In orgasms over a lynching.

Brando said...

That'll teach him to not be racist! Or at least teach him to start speaking in racial code.

Michael said...

Crack

Stern's a billionaire. His fine was $250 million.

That's $60.00 if he made $44,000 a year,...

4/30/14, 12:07 AM
---------------

With your first paycheck buy yourself one of those arithmetic machines. Amazing devices. Buying one, of course, does not mean you would know how to use if or even the implications of the answers it gave. But it might help in calculating your share of reparations.




Nichevo said...

On the bright side, we now know Crack's salary. And I thought I was underpaid! What's the job, Cracky?

Nichevo said...

On the bright side, we now know Crack's salary. And I thought I was underpaid! What's the job, Cracky?

Hagar said...

I am shocked, shocked! to find that the owner of a professional ball team should turn out to be a crude character using uncouth language.

Who could have thunk it?

John said...

Crack MC said:

And John Henry is a racist of epic proportions - follow his lead,...

What?

Care to explain how you get to that statement?

John Henry

Marshal said...

The Crack Emcee said...
And John Henry is a racist of epic proportions - follow his lead,...


Look who's talking.

Marshal said...

I am also curious how the NBA plans to collect the $2.5 million fine while also stripping the franchise. You would think it would be an either/or situation.

The main TV contracts are with the NBA, which in turn distributes the funds to the teams. All they do is deduct the fine from their payment.

It's all going to court anyway.

Robert Rainsberger said...

"That said, Sterling is a lawyer and if you take his franchise away he really has nothing else to do than sue. He’s really not the kind of guy who would settle (what fun is that) and this could get dragged out a long time.."

This is the best analysis I've seen... http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/10852199/challenge-donald-sterling

There's no allowance for running to the courts on matters of punishment, which this is: "The constitution provides in Paragraph 24(m) that a commissioner's decision shall be "final, binding, and conclusive" and shall be as final as an award of arbitration."

And Munson doesn't mention para. 35 in regards to a forced sale, suggesting the other owners "could assert that Sterling's statements violated the constitution's requirements to conduct business on a "reasonable" and "ethical" level."

I'm not a fan of picking out single words but I've read/heard Munson before on legal matters in sport. He's impressed me as rather reasonable.


RecChief said...

Pushback?
Well, yes.

I don't often quote Joyce Carole Oates, but I think she has a good point: "Nostalgia for time when one could say anything in private no matter how stupid, cruel, self-serving or plain wrong & not be criminalized."

"Am I the only person in US surprised that a private conversation (no matter how ugly) can be the basis for such public recrimination?"

"This era of ever-vigilant social media & NSA surveillance may one day be seen as the end of "free speech" in America. Happened so quickly"

-Joyce Carole Oates

RecChief said...

"Sterling's statements violated the constitution's requirements to conduct business on a "reasonable" and "ethical" level.""

But he wasn't conducting business. He was in his home, in a private conversation.

So we are left with a situation where a person says something disgusting in the privacy of his own home, it gets leaked, and now can be forced to sell a property. Here's my question again, How is this ok?

The Crack Emcee said...

RecChief ,

"This era of ever-vigilant social media & NSA surveillance may one day be seen as the end of "free speech" in America. Happened so quickly"

Why does "free speech" have to equal "whites being racist"?

RecChief said...

Why does "free speech" have to equal "whites being racist"?

You should ask Joyce Carole Oates that question. Or Bill Maher. Or Kareem Abdul Jabbar.

The larger point is that there are people who have disgusting attitudes in this country, who do reprehensible things, who should be shamed. For example, I find many of the things you post here to be disgusting, but I would not ever picket your workplace, or demand your firing, even though you've made those comments in a public forum. We all know the 1st amendment constrains the government from silencing speech, but I think it goes without saying that Free Speech is a concept that we all enjoy in our daily lives.

I think you're a bit myopic in this case. but that's just my opinion. Maybe because my opinion differes from yours you think I shouldn't be able to express it? And your method of silencing that opinion is to label me a racist? Waht is going on may be perfectly "legal" as was the defenestration of Brandon Eich. As has been pointed out elsewhere, legality does not equal morality. It's positively Orwellian, in my view, that a person's comments, in his/her home could result in the loss of property.

By your logic, Obama should be impeached for his "bitterly clinging to guns and religion" comments 6 years ago. Here, I will label that comment as a Racist comment.

The problem with people of your viewpoint is that free speech is ok, as long as everyone says the same thing. As soon as someone says something you disagree with, you want them to shut up. I see it in your responses on this blog.

Gahrie said...

Why does "free speech" have to equal "whites being racist"?

Because you have a one track, half-assed mind.

Paul Golba said...

John Stodder: Cuban is on board forcing Sterling out? That's not consistent with any news story I've read. I would think that if any owner does not want ownership stripped because of skeletons in the closet, it would be Cuban. Of course, Cuban tends to parade his skeletons in front of everyone while cursing loudly.

He will not be "stripped" of anything. He will be forced to sell.... Sterling and his heirs will be extremely comfortable for many generations, no less so than if he had died a beloved old coot.

Okay, but that's not the point. There was a time when professional sports franchises were run primarily as money making ventures. These days most sports owners are typically filthy rich beforehand. The sports team is a status symbol to impress the other rich folk at parties, or a hobby pursued with much vigor like George Steinbrenner, or a labor of love to the city, or in the case of Mr. Sterling a way to pick up chicks and feel important. I don’t think Sterling cares about the money much and cares about owning the Clippers a whole lot. Hmm, he does have a passing resemblance to Gollum.

More importantly, the price of an item that can be taken away by the whim of others, even if properly compensated, is going to demand a lower price than the same item with no such terms. Driving down franchise values will not make the other owners happy. Also, using Mr. Sterling’s precedent to eject more owners for private conversations could become a real issue. Mr. Sterling may know where the bodies are buried and decide to take a whole lot of other people down with him. This is not an action to take lightly.

Is the NBA better off without Mr. Sterling? Absolutely. But hard cases make bad law and be careful what you wish for are in effect.

Robert Rainsberger said...

The NBA has posted its constitution/by-laws online...

http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/the-nba-published-its-previously--secret--constitutions-and-bylaws-235240168.html

Robert Rainsberger said...

Direct link to NBA constitution/by-laws....

http://www.scribd.com/doc/221035054/NBA-Constitution-and-by-Laws

Marshal said...

Robert Rainsberger said...
Direct link to NBA constitution/by-laws....


Sterling is not guilty of any provision in this document which is subject to the expulsion provisions. The clause he's clearly guilty of - engaging in actions detrimental to the Association - carries the defined penalty of a fine up to $1 million.

It's a mistake to leap to a legal resolution before attempting a negotiation. The economics of the situation are such that Sterlings best option is to sell. But a legal effort to expel him undermines the NBAs ability to get him to understand and agree with this reality.