The basketball world has been shaken to its core by the outrageously insensitive comments made by the Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling in reference to minorities. After these comments went public, the Clippers were expected to perform in a crucial Game 4 against the hungry Golden State Warriors. The result was a pre-occupied Clippers team that was overpowered in a 118-97 loss.
Much speculation circulated about how the Clippers’ players would respond to the circumstances surrounding the controversy. Some presumed a possible protest of some sort was in place, and even the players sitting out of the game was rumored as a reaction. The Clippers would end up coming to play with their warm-ups turned inside out so that the Clippers’ logo could not be seen. In one symbolic action, the team took off their warm-up tops and dropped them at halfcourt.
It was clear from that point forward that the Clippers would not as easily remove the distraction from their psyches. The Warriors jumped out to a large lead to start the game and never looked back. Jamal Crawford made a valiant effort to carry his emotionally distraught team with his 26 points in 27 minutes, but it was to no avail.
The clear signs of distraction were evident in an uncharacteristic performance by DeAndre Jordan, who was held scoreless in 25 minutes. The Clippers never looked comfortable on the court and failed to find a rhythm. The NBA is currently investigating the comments of Sterling and determining what disciplinary actions may take place, if any. But regardless how the league will handle this ordeal, the damage has been done and tattooed on the minds of the players.