As expected, Donald Sterling isn’t going quietly after being banned from the NBA a couple weeks back. He just completed his first full interview since being banished, and he didn’t exactly come off great. He seemed like the out-of-touch racist old man that he is.
There are also rumors that he’s preparing to sue the NBA if indeed he is forced to sell the Los Angeles Clippers. If that happens, things are surely going to get ugly.
But all of the legal stuff will pale in comparison to the picture Roger Mason Jr. is painting. The vice president of the players association dropped this bombshell on the Jim Rome show:
“If it’s not handled by the start of next season, I don’t see how we’re playing basketball. I was just in the locker room with LeBron…At the end of the day, you know we have leaders. We have player reps, we’ve got executive committee members…Leaders of the teams, they’re all saying the same thing, ‘If this man is still in place, we ain’t playing.'”
When Rome pressed him about the James comment, he responded with confidence:
“I was just in the locker room three or four days ago. LeBron and I talked about it. He ain’t playing if Sterling is still an owner.”
It’s really hard to imagine James boycotting the league all together. It’s even tougher to imagine a league-wide boycott. But at the same time, the Sterling issue is a huge one. Everybody wants him gone, so a massive walk out would be one way to accomplish that.
We’ll see if things ever get to that point, but the safe bet is that Sterling will be booted long before training camps come around next fall.