After Sterling’s racist remarks and the reaction they got, everyone’s wondering about the future of the Clippers.
So when Yahoo reported that the Lakers legend Magic Johnson, who is part owner of Los Angeles Lakers, and his ownership group the Guggenheim Partners, wereinterested in buying the team, many were confident that the sale would go through. In fact, it was they were hoping for.
Lakers legend Magic Johnson denied a report that he is interested in buying the Clippers. "I am always going to fight for African-Americans, as well as Latinos ... minorities. I am going to fight for them to the death. That's where I invested my money. That's who I hire."
To NBA Fans, I want to put a stop to a rumor. I am not trying to buy the Clippers, they already have an owner.— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) April 29, 2014
Magic Johnson owning the Clippers wouldn't be new. Based on head to head matchups, Magic owned the Clippers for his entire playing career.— Not Bill Walton (@NotBillWalton) April 28, 2014
Then @MagicJohnson would come in like superman and buy out the clippers to show that sterling aka the racist pig has no place in the NBA!— Aram Guiragozian (@AramGuiragozian) April 29, 2014
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Whether Johnson buys the Clippers or not, it’s high time Sterling is taken out of the equation. He has done enough harm over the years and the team doesn’t deserve an owner like him.
One can look as far back as 1983 when prospective Clippers coaching candidate Rollie Massimino recalls Sterling’s extremely racist comments and the use of the N-word in an impromptu interview,
“Here’s this guy, and he has this blonde bimbo with him, they have a bottle of champagne, they’re tanked. And Don looks at me and he says, ‘I wanna know why you think you can coach these n*****s.’”
Then there is the 2006 housing discrimination lawsuit against his real estate holdings and rental practices. On this occasion, Sterling refused to rent property to African-Americans.
"That's because of all the blacks in this building, they smell, they're not clean. ... And it's because of all of the Mexicans that just sit around and smoke and drink all day," he is known to have said as an explanation.
He was sued in 2009 by his employee and basketball star Elgin Baylor for employment discrimination.
Sterling is not just racist though, he’s also rather inconsiderate.
In 2004, Kim Hughes, then an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Clippers, was diagnosed with prostate cancer and advised immediate surgery by doctors. Lacking funds for the $70,000 procedure, Hughes approached Sterling about his health insurance coverage and was refused. Four players from his team, Chris Kaman, Corey Maggette, Elton Brand and Marko Jaric, chipped in to cover the operation’s cost.
One would imagine that a an owner would motivate his team, but one of the players Baron Davis told The New York Post in 2012 of how Sterling broke his spirit, "I just stopped liking basketball. And then you dribbling down the court and having the owner like cuss at you and call you an idiot. I didn't even look forward to coming to the games, and if the owner [Donald Sterling] came to the game, I definitely was not gonna have a good game because it was just like, how do you play when the main heckler in the gym is the owner of the team, and he's telling you how much he hates you and calling out your name?"
So even though the tape that leaked over the weekend with Sterling telling his girlfriend not to bring blacks to the game and the following one with the Clippers owner giving his girlfriend explanations for his racist rant, are shadowed in doubt. His history of racism and irresponsible behavior should be enough to ensure this is the last time he puts his team in such a situation.