By Rex Sheild @RexfordJunior on April 28, 2014
There's absolutely no place for Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling in the NBA. Days after tape was released from TMZ that showcased Sterling's blatant racism, further tape was revealed today by Deadspin that painted the picture even clearer of his ignorance. NBA commissioner Adam Silver is left to deal with a difficult situation at hand, and he joins these 10 other influential NBA people who aren't fans of the owner.
Sacramento mayor and NBPA selection committee chairman Kevin Johnson is the first one on this list who dislikes Sterling. Johnson has been glowingly in favor of the players and detailed the events he wants Silver to take during the telecast of the Golden State Warriors-Clippers. According to an ESPN report, he is urging for Sterling to miss the rest of the Clippers' playoff games with significant punishment outside of that.
The Brooklyn Nets' swingman is seen as a man of character (let's forget his wheelchair flop), seen in his leadership of the Boston Celtics for a majority of his illustrious career. Amidst a tight series with the Toronto Raptors, the least of Pierce's concerns should be about a way-too-outspoken owner, but he seemed upset, and pleasantly surprised, regarding Sterling's comments. He also voiced his disdain for Sterling's presence in the NBA.
The rising young star would be coveted by a whole host of NBA organizations, but the Clippers would not be among them -- at least not if Lillard had his choosing, stemming from Sterling's comments. The Weber State alum referred to the history of racism to explain this travesty to USA Today Sports. "I think because (racism) goes so far back in our history, that maybe people might think that it doesn't exist."
Barkley may be a bit outspoken on some occasions, but he makes some solid points about various NBA topics, including this one. He and the TNT crew kicked off the media barrage of Sterling with Barkley calling for the owner to be suspended and fined. In essence, he was rightfully worried about the larger image of the NBA and this type of discrimination hurting it.
The five-time NBA champion may be on the shelf, but Bryant was not afraid to voice his opinion on the hometown rival's owner. He took to Twitter to do so, tweeting: "No. He should not continue owning the clippers. #nochance #noway #nohow." This opinion is shared by many players in the NBA, but a long road of litigation lies ahead before that transpires.
As the face of the NBA, James' opinions on highly talked-about issues serve a greater influence than others in the NBA today. Within this debacle, he saw the greater issue of Sterling's comments, while calling them "disrespectful" and "appalling". Furthermore, last year's MVP told this to reporters on Sunday: "We're the model citizen of all sports around the world because we are the most recognizable figures."
Jordan has certainly held a lot of weight throughout the NBA for a long time, both as a player and an owner. When answering questions from reporters on Sunday, the six-time NBA champion was "outraged" over Sterling's ignorance. The NBA world is meant to be an inner circle of brothers, essentially one big family, but that now appears impossible with Sterling.
For someone who would have to play for an owner like Sterling, I can only imagine the emotional distress they went through. It's not good for anyone to be in an environment with downright racism, but the members of the Clippers were exposed to such crude behavior. They turned their team apparel inside-out for the team's contest against the Warriors, and that's the least they could do to stand up against their disrespectful owner.
Rivers' job may not be truly in jeopardy, but he might have to think twice if he wants to work for an owner who doesn't want any people of the African-American race at his games. Coaching is stressful enough, let alone in the ultra-competitive Western Conference Playoffs, and it only ramped up for Rivers with Sterling's idiotic comments. Luckily the 2008 NBA Champion has handled the matter with intelligence and class.
Of all the aforementioned influential NBA people, Sterling's comments did not hit home as much as it did for the Los Angeles Dodgers owner. Johnson was specifically mentioned in TMZ's tape of the people he does not want at the Clipper games. This gives the former Lakers legend even more reason not to attend Lob City games. Nevertheless, Johnson's frustration resulted in his offer to buy the Los Angeles Clippers.
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