Coaching the 25-win Celtics was probably a trying experience for Brad Stevens, but it has to beat spending all year kowtowing to a bigot.
The Celtics traded Doc Rivers to the Clippers last July for an unprotected 2015 first-round pick, and the trade appeared to be a win-win for both sides in pure basketball terms.
Rivers admitted he wanted to pursue a new opportunity, and it made little sense for the Celtics to pay him $7 million per season to coach a rebuilding club.
The Clippers have been one of the marquee teams in the NBA this year with Rivers at the helm, winning 57 games and securing the third seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
The club’s exemplary play, and countless Blake Griffin highlight reel dunks have caused some to forget about the organization’s downtrodden, and embarrassing history.
Since joining the league in 1970, the Clippers have only qualified for the playoffs 10 times. The team went 30 years without winning a playoff round, and has never played in a championship game.
On top of it all, owner Donald Sterling is one of the worst men in professional sports. He has a long history of exhibiting bizarre, and alleged overt racist behavior.
The Housing Rights Center and 19 of his tenants who lived at the Ardmore Apartment complex in downtown Los Angeles sued him in 2003 for refusing to rent to blacks, Mexican-Americans, couples with children and government-housing-subsidy recipients.
Sterling supposedly said he refused to allow black people to live in his property because “they smell and they’re not clean.” He also reportedly said Mexicans just “sit around and drink and smoke all day.”
Former Clippers general manager Elgin Baylor sued the 80-year-old Sterling in 2011 for firing him solely on the basis of “age and race.”
Baylor claims Sterling often questioned his ability to do the job, and regularly left him out of the decision making process. He also allegedly brought women into the locker room, and openly mocked many of his players:
“While ignoring my suggestions and isolating me from decisions customarily reserved for general managers, the Clippers attempted to place the blame for the team’s failures on me,” Baylor said in the declaration. “During this same period, players Sam Cassell, Elton Brand and Corey Maggette complained to me that DONALD STERLING would bring women into the locker room after games, while the players were showering, and make comments such as, ‘Look at those beautiful black bodies.’ I brought this to Sterling’s attention, but he continued to bring women into the locker room.”
Up until this point, though, most of the accusations against Sterling have consisted of hearsay. Baylor even lost his case in court.
But that all changed Friday night, when TMZ Sports acquired audio of a lurid conversation between Sterling and his girlfriend, V. Stivieno.
Sterling is upset that Stivieno – who is half-black and half-Mexican –posted a picture on her Instagram account with NBA legend Magic Johnson.
Sterling is enraged that Stivieno “broadcasts her associations with black people,” and orders her to not bring Johnson to “his games.”
The content of the nearly 10-minute discussion is appalling, and promises to leave Rivers and the Clippers’ players with plenty of questions to answer prior to their playoff game against the Warriors Sunday.
Screenshot via YouTube