Five years ago, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced that he would be Banning Donald Sterling “for life” and fined him $2.5 million dollars. Sterling would be later forced to sell the Clippers to now Clippers Owner Steve Balmer. Following the release of an audio recording by TMZ featuring the former Los Angeles Clippers owner’s voice saying inappropriate and racist comments to his former girlfriend V. Stiviano.
In the recording, Sterling encouraged Stiviano not to associate with herself with Black people, do not bring her black friends to Clippers games, and to stop posting photos of her and “minorities” such as Magic Johnson on social media platforms. Sterling’s exact words in the recording go as follows: ”It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with Black people. Do you have to?”
“We stand together in condemning Mr. Sterling’s views,” said Adam Silver. “They simply have no place in the NBA.”
After the release of the audio recording, some of the Clippers sponsors like Carmax, and State Farm informed them that they will be withdrawing their agreements with the team.
Heavy’s Brandon Robinso, who was covering the press conference for The Source Magazine, asked Commissioner Silver what would he tell companies that want to invest in the NBA and its franchises in the future?
” I would say those marketing partners Clippers and the partners of the entire NBA should judge us our response to this incident and I think we have responded appropriately. I would hope that they would return to their business relationship with the Clippers,” said Silver.
Clippers coach Doc Rivers recently spoke to The San Franciso Chronicle about having to beg and plead with Sterling not attend game four at Oracle Arena against the Golden State Warriors on April 24th, 2014. There were talks between players on the Clippers team of boycotting the game at Oracle unless the NBA did something regarding the incident and the Warriors were willing to do the same.
“No one knows that the hour before the game, I’m on the phone with ownership (a representative of Sterling), the most heated argument you could possibly have. Just a lot of stuff went into that game . . . It took me 45 minutes for me to get (Sterling) not to come. I don’t know if he (understood the gravity of the situation) or not.”
Doc would add, “I think I didn’t get onto the floor until a minute (before tipoff), I was still in the argument about who was going to come to the game. So by the time I got on the floor, it was just a tough game.”
Sterling even though he is not allowed to attend any NBA games, he still keeps up with the Clippers at home according to TMZ. When they caught up to Sterling in Beverly Hills earlier today.
Sterling has since moved on with his life — but when we spotted him in Beverly Hills, we had to know if he’s still following the Clippers, and rooting for them in the playoffs.
“Of course,” the 84-year-old billionaire told us on his way out of Nate’n Al … “And, I wish them the best!”
We also asked Sterling how he felt about Magic Johnson stepping down as the President of the Lakers — and that’s when Sterling looked up and gave a devious smirk.
It’s Sterling’s previous comments about Magic that led to his own demise — when he told V. Stiviano he didn’t want her bringing black people to Clippers games, including Magic Johnson.
Weeks after we published the recordings, Sterling went on CNN to attack Magic again — calling him an unfit role model for children because “he’s got AIDS.”
Johnson fired back at the time — saying Sterling was an ignorant old man who’s still living in the stone ages.
We reached out to the Clippers to see how the felt about Sterling’s support — but we haven’t heard back.
The Los Angeles are currently down 2-1 in their first-round series against the Warriors and looking to tie up the series tonight at Staples Center.