A racist NBA team owner hits the jackpot

BmZJSRQIYAADSwCYou know about Donald Sterling, right? The Los Angeles Clippers owner who chastised his mistress … (Can we call her a mistress? I mean, she wasn’t his wife. He’s ancient and she’s definitely old enough to be his great granddaughter. And every major media outlet describes her as “his girlfriend.”) … sorry, I got distracted. Who chastised his mistress … who’s half black and half hispanic … for taking pictures with black men and bringing black people to basketball games.

Because if you don’t want to be seen with black people, the first place you want to be at is a basketball game.

The tape, of course, is a tour de force on how to claim you’re not racist as you say the most racist things you can think of. Then when your mistress (girlfriend?) says you’re being racist, call her a racist.


So the NBA today did this:

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was banned for life from the NBA, Commissioner Adam Silver announced Tuesday, because of an audio recording in which he made racially charged comments to his girlfriend.

Silver said he would urge the Board of Governors to force the sale of the team and fined Sterling $2.5 million, the maximum Silver can levy under the NBA constitution and bylaws. The money, the league announced, will be donated to anti-discrimination and tolerance organizations that will be jointly selected by the NBA and the Players Association.

Now let’s consider the real impact of this ruling.

Donald Sterling has to sell his team. He bought the team in 1981 for $12.5 million. The team is currently in the NBA playoffs.

Now, a bad NBA team was sold just a few days ago (via ESPN.com).

Longtime Milwaukee Bucks owner Herb Kohl announced Wednesday that he has reached an agreement to sell the team to hedge-fund billionaires Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry for about $550 million. The deal is subject to approval by the NBA and its board of governors.

In January, Forbes valued the Bucks at $405 million, last among the league’s 30 franchises.

Kohl, a longtime U.S. senator who bought the team for $18 million in 1985, made keeping it in Milwaukee a condition of the sale. It’s also believed Kohl, while relinquishing majority control, will retain a significant percentage of the team.

Los Angeles isn’t Milwaukee. It’s a major media market. And the Bucks aren’t in the playoffs. The Clippers are.

So current estimates are that the Clippers will sell for more than $1 billion. And that money goes to …

Donald Sterling.

He owns the team. He gets the paycheck.

I’m sure he’s in agony right now because the NBA won’t let him be involved in a sport that features a race of people he doesn’t want to associate with.

I think the Northwestern and Princeton professors in the news recently will agree that there is merit to living in an oligarchy. If you’re an oligarch.

Louisville Cardinals: Cashing in

Apparently, the home team is pulling down cash like it’s an NBA franchise:

And yes, some of that cash used to be mine. I’ll be handing over more in a couple of weeks when Hartford comes to the Yum Center in Louisville to play the Cardinals.

Time Machine: The guy who scored the NBA’s first basket died

I usually go back 100 years for a Time Machine entry, but this is a piece of sports history from 67 years ago that’s worth seeing (via BlacktopXchange.com):

Today we learned the first [NBA] bucket was scored by Ossie Schectman, and we know that because it was announced yesterday that he died at the age of 94.

That first basket (in the video above) came on Nov. 1, 1946 for the New York Knicks, who were playing in the first game of the Basketball Association of America (now the NBA). Schectman opened the scoring with a lay-up, and the Knicks went on to beat the Toronto Huskies, 68-66.

Schectman, a native New Yorker, won a college national championship in 1941 while playing for Long Island University.

Like I said, it’s not classic Time Machine, but it is history.

David Stern makes me laugh

The NBA draft was funny.

I’ve never watched it before, but stuck with it to see where Gorgui Dieng of Louisville would go in the first round (picked by Utah, traded to Minnesota). That’s actually pretty good, because Rick Pitino‘s kid is now the head coach at the University of Minnesota, so Gorgui will at least have some “family” in the area. That’s confirmed by this tweet:

gorguiBut NBA Commissioner David Stern getting booed every time he walked out to announce the next pick was a riot. He egged the crowd on, saying things like “I can’t hear you.” Then he came out with these words of wisdom:

“We’ve had to explain to our international audience that the boo is an American sign of respect.”

I guess if I followed the NBA, I’d have known this was an inside joke. Stern is retiring after 30 years, and as he made his last pick, he got a standing ovation of sincere cheers by the crowd. And then, when he introduced his successor, the crowd booed the new guy.