If you were hoping that new NBA Commissioner Adam Silver was going to bring the thunder tonight in his press conference regarding TMZ’s revealing audio that paints quite the racist picture of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, you were undoubtedly disappointed. While Sterling has already had portraits painted of his alleged racism over the years, this latest revelation has a lot of people screaming for the controversial owner’s head, and Silver simply stated that the NBA will investigate and Sterling will not attend tomorrow’s Clippers playoff game.
Meanwhile, in the court of public opinion, Sterling is the King of A-holes to just about everyone except for the people who either believe him that the phone conversation that TMZ released was doctored, or those who think that the fact that the audio was obtained illegally somehow forgives the fact that Sterling is allegedly outright and despicably racist. We’ve already heard from Magic Johnson and Snoop Dogg, among others, so let’s check in with the self-anointed King of the NBA, LeBron James, to see what the best player on the planet thinks about Sterling.
What are your thoughts on Donald Sterling’s comments?
“If the reports are true, it’s unacceptable. It’s unacceptable in our league. It doesn’t matter if you’re white, black, Hispanic, whatever, all across the races. It’s unacceptable and as a commissioner in our league, they have to make a stand, and they have to be very aggressive with it. I don’t know what it’s going to be, but you just can’t have that in our league. We’re the model citizens of all sports around the world and because we’re the most recognizable, I mean, it figures. You see us all the time, you see our logos, you see our players, and for an owner to come out and say the things that he said, it’s very disrespectful, it’s very appalling and one of my best friends and dear friends plays on his team in Chris Paul and I haven’t had an opportunity to talk to him but I can only imagine what’s going through his head.”
How difficult would it be to play with that hanging over…
“I don’t know. I kind of waivered back and forth whether I would actually sit out. If our owner would come out and say the things that he said, I would really have to sit down with my teammates, talk to my family because at the end of the day, our family, and our teammates are way more important than that. Basketball is huge, obviously the playoffs have been unbelievable, and I hate the fact that something like this has to come out when the playoffs have been unbelievable and the game of basketball continues to grow, but there is no room for Donald Sterling in our league. There is no room for him.”
Does it make you angry?
“I’m not angry. Just disappointed more than anything. There is only 30 owners and 400-plus of us. For a player, I just think…I put my…I can only imagine if a player came out and said something of that stature what would happen to us as players. So, I believe in Adam [Silver], I believe in the NBA and they have to do something and do something very fast and quickly before this really gets out of hand. Like I said, there is no room for Donald Sterling in our league, man. There it is.” (Via the Miami Herald Heat Check Blog)
Obviously, there’s going to be so much more developing from this story over the next few days, weeks and probably months – unless someone important says something even dumber, which we never rule out anymore – so just buckle and prepare for this sh*t show to explode when Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless get their hands on it come Monday.