There’s no simple solution to the Donald Sterling situation regarding his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers. To make matters more complicated, his estranged wife Shelly Sterling wants to remain the owner of the team once he is removed. LeBron James, who doesn’t just speak for himself but usually represents a lot of other players, has said the players don’t want anyone from that family to have anything to do with the team or the NBA.
As if things would be that easy. Donald Sterling is the longest tenured owner in the NBA – since 1981. He has apologized for the racist comments he made in a private conversation recorded by his girlfriend, and has mentioned that he himself isn’t a racist; that he “simply” made a mistake, and that making one like that in 35 years doesn’t mean he should be ousted as the owner of the Clippers.
Shelly Sterling has been interviewed. She has mentioned she will soon be filing for divorce, but has also stated that it is in her intention to take control of the Clippers. Dick Parsons has been installed as the Clippers’ interim CEO while the league is approaching the moment when they hold the vote on whether or not to force Sterling to sell the team, but his soon to be ex-wife is planning on stepping in for her husband.
Whatever the decision will be, there’s going to be a long legal battle. The players, or at least most of them, don’t want Sterling to be part of this. I’m not sure what the view is regarding his wife, but the feeling is that it’s time to move on to a new chapter and a new ownership group. Shelly Sterling has already begun using the media to campaign for herself, stating that if there was a reversal in gender, no one would be calling to push out the entire family.
Doc Rivers has said he’ll have a problem carrying on working for the Sterling family. That sentiment is probably echoed among players on the team as well. Meanwhile they’re busy playing in an excellent series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, currently tied at 2-2 although sometimes it resembles a wrestling match more than a basketball game. At some point, the basketball part will be over, and the racism-ownership scandal will once again grab the headlines and we will be hearing a lot more from everyone.