The Donal Sterling saga has finally come to an end. The Los Angeles Clippers‘ $2 billion sale to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will take affect before the 2014-15 season.
This situation was unique and evidently challenging for the staff and players. Even though two of the franchise’s leaders, Doc Rivers and Chris Paul, threatened to boycott, I never bought into that possibility for one moment. The time to make that type of historic statement was during the playoffs against the Golden State Warriors. The end of the Sterling era was only a matter of time,.
While I respect Rivers and Paul for being vocal and persevering, this week’s expressions about boycotting weren’t transparent. In all honesty, the legal system is time consuming and I think the vocal leaders did whatever they could to help accelerate the process. This was the likely outcome since commissioner Adam Silver banned Sterling, and since his estranged wife, Shelly Sterling, sold the team.
As Rivers was the president and coach of the franchise, he wasn’t going to miss any games. There was no realistic way that he would be recruiting assistant coaches and signing players only to walk away from it all. The same goes for Paul; the All-Star point guard could very well play overseas, but it takes a lot for someone to stray from the course. Paul wasn’t about to leave millions of dollars on the table for not reporting or participating. So while it may have been smart to go public with something as radical as boycotting, beneath the surface, there wasn’t much to sentiment.
Nevertheless, the NBA and the Clippers can officially move on from the negativity and channel their energies towards basketball again.