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Metcalfe's Musings — Sterling not going so quietly into that good night! PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, June 14, 2014 7:56 PM


DHI Media Sports Editor

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I decided to wait a week to write about this topic.

I wish I could say I had called this one — with my magical crystal ball — but I was off by a million miles.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

That means it’s all … ahem, … er … cough, cough … sniff, sniff … my fault!

I am referring to the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers last week for more than a few bucks — $2 billion — to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

A quick aside here — who has $2 billion lying around to buy a pro basketball team?

Something almost smells like rotten in Denmark because there is no way he can make a profit for, like, 40 years because of the debt service on that sum of moolah!

Back to the issue at hand.

I wrote earlier that I thought it would go for about a third of that much because it was damaged property after owner — sorry; apparently it’s co-owner! — Donald Sterling’s tirade, particularly against Magic Johnson.

Apparently, his soon-to-be-ex-wife — and team co-owner — Shelly Sterling felt she had the authority to do so from The Sterling Family Trust, the actual team owner, after The Other Donald was declared “mentally incapacitated”.

I think we all felt that something was amiss inside his brain when he was taped saying the things he did.

What I listened to were from a man that seemed to not really know what he was saying.

We all thought it was over — after all, he made how much money from the initial $12 million purchase to this? What a heck of an investment! — and he had signed off on it, apparently changing his mind about suing the NBA for breach of contract and deciding not to fight.

Apparently, this is not so.

He is still fighting the NBA over the principle of the thing, that the NBA has no authority to basically take the team away from him and acting like tyrants.

I don’t know the ins and outs of the NBA governing policy and such but you have to wonder if he might not be fundamentally right.

We Reds’ fans went through this with Marge Schott decades ago and I had reservations then about what MLB did to her.

I did not agree with her sentiments then, nor now, but tell me that some of the other owners — like Ted Turner, the then-owner of the Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Hawks and head of TBS — didn’t make remarks that weren’t incendiary and blatantly “-ist?”

I seem to recall his blasting of Christians years ago — around the same time — yet no move was made to force him to sell either team.

Why not?

I agree with Mark Cuban — the REAL Mark Cuban, not the Politically Correct “Mark Cuban” — that should there have ever been (or perhaps will still be) a vote on removing Sterling, if you make it a secret ballot, it might not be as unanimous a verdict as everyone lets on.

I think the owners are scared that if they can get “this” guy, they can be “got” next for some innocent off-hand remark regarding anything/everything/nothing that gets caught on audio.

All I’m saying to the NBA, MLB or NFL is this; be consistent. Don’t remove one guy because you don’t like what he says and then let the other guy off because you like — or don’t care about — what he says.

Remember: the NBA had no problem allowing Sterling to become an owner in the first place, even knowing that he had a low — how about worm-like? — opinion of minorities in his “money-making” apartment rental business.

I realize that this is a different era but also remember that the NBA was a second-tier league at the time, with its NBA Finals on tape-delay.


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