Over the weekend I watched Pony Excess, the latest ESPN “30 for 30” documentary that focused on the SMU football program of the ’80s that was so flagrant with their recruiting violations that they were handed the first (and likely last) “death penalty” sentence by the NCAA. It was a great film, and “30 for 30” has been bringing the heat since this series began.
But someone missed a big opportunity by not making a doc on Clippers owner Donald Sterling. As far as cartoon-like sports villains go, Sterling is easy movie material. He is widely recognized as the worst owner in the NBA, if not pro sports period, and his antics never cease to amaze in either comedic or terrifying fashion.
The latest headlines involving Sterling stemmed from revelations in a Yahoo Sports article that the owner has been heckling Clippers’ star point guard Baron Davis from his courtside seat at Staples Center.
All-Star center Chris Kaman told the Los Angeles Times that he’s also been heckled by Sterling.
“All kinds of stuff,” Kaman told the newspaper, which described him as more amused than angry about Sterling. “Some stuff like, ‘Oh, dunk the ball.’ He owns the team. What do you want me to say? He’s my boss. He signs the check. He owns me. Not really, but you know what I’m saying. My rights to my basketball skills for five years.”
Notice how Kaman is aware of exactly how long his contract runs — a five-year extension he signed in ’06 that kicked in for the ’07-08 season. He will be a free agent in 2012, and like so many players before him, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Kaman beat it out of L.A. ASAP to get away from the punchline franchise.
“He’s an interesting guy,” Kaman said of Sterling. “He likes to watch us play. He’s very into it. Very into the decisions from what I understand. He’s frustrated like anybody. … The only thing I can say is that if it is negative at all, it’s out of frustration.”
The L.A. Times quoted an unnamed league source who said, “What (Sterling) really wants is to not pay the guy (Davis), and they told him he can’t do that. … I know he wants to do it, but obviously he couldn’t do it. He used to tell Baron, ‘You’re terrible. You can’t shoot threes. Why do you shoot threes?'”
Anybody know what Ice Cube is up to these days? How about John Singleton? F. Gary Gray? This could win an ESPY.