Sterling case behind, Clippers still very much alive in playoffs

Just days after Donald Sterling made his extremely offensive racial comments, the NBA has come down with swift action.

Tuesday morning, NBA commissioner Adam Silver ruled a lifetime ban from the league on Sterling.  Along with the ban, Silver called for a $2.5 million fine, which will be donated to groups dedicated to anti-discrimination.

The commissioner also took initiative in urging the NBA board of governors to force the Clippers team to be sold in the near future.  This was clearly Adam Silver’s first big moment and story in his new position as leader of the NBA. 

The fallout of this decision has earned the applause and approval of most in and out of the league.  This announcement shows the NBA has no tolerance for discrimination. 

Just looking back at the past, this day of judgment was a long time coming for Donald Sterling. 

In 2006, Sterling was sued for $2.73 million for settlement in another case in which racism was involved.  Sterling allegedly refused to rent out his apartments to Hispanics and African Americans.

Three years later, in 2009, Sterling was sued by Elgin Baylor on the basis of employee discrimination.  Baylor believed he was being paid less due to both his race and age.  At the time, Baylor was the general manager of the Clippers.

Legitimate examples like these now prove themselves as foreshadowing events. 

While I in no way condone the acts of Sterling, this whole situation is just beyond odd, and a little unfair.  The NBA is banning Sterling because they have to.  No for legal reasons though.  This is simply a business and image-saving move.  If the NBA does not ban Sterling, it leaves a black eye on the league and their decision-making body.

While Sterling may be a racist, he indeed did nothing legally wrong.  He used his freedom of speech.  In his own home.  The question still remains as to why his girlfriend decided to record him though. 

Anyway, what’s done is done.  It is time for Doc Rivers and his Clippers playoff team to remain focused for the time being. 

Currently the Clippers are in a tight first round matchup with the Golden State Warriors.  Game 4, which was just after this story broke, was by far the worst game the Clippers have played in a while.

It is obvious that the controversy has broken into the minds of the players.  During the pregame warm-ups Sunday, the players threw off their practice jerseys at center court.  This was their first act of protest.  No one on the team seems to be behind Sterling.

As for the series, the Clippers are up 3-2, with a chance to move on to the next round with a win.  Their impressive win Tuesday night definitely made up for the lackluster game 4 performance.  DeAndre Jordan dominated for the Clippers, dropping 25 points and racking up 18 rebounds.  Game 6 is Thursday night in Golden State.

Moving on would entail a matchup with either the Memphis Grizzlies or Oklahoma City Thunder.  With the Thunder down 3-2, the Grizzlies surely would pose a threat to Los Angeles if the matchup presents itself.

If the Clippers can rise up and overcome this chaos, they will come out stronger and more unified than ever.  Nothing can bring a group together, or tear them apart, like these moments for a franchise.  It will be interesting to observe how leaders like Chris Paul and Blake Griffin take charge and head the ship for the rest of the playoffs. 

It will be in the best interest of the team and staff to block out all the rumors now floating around about ownership.  That can be thought over in the offseason. 

No matter how this season ends for the team, the NBA and everyone affiliated came out pretty strong in this series of events.  A negative person has been removed from the league, and the nation has comforted the team with open arms.  Very rarely do you see league issues end with the league being commended for their actions.  Now let’s end this story and get back to playoff basketball.

Adam Johnson

Adam Johnson

Adam Johnson is a sophomore at Grand Canyon University.  Studying Sports Management, Adam is looking to work in broadcasting after graduation.  Adam is originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota but has been in Arizona the past eight years.  Being from Minnesota, he is a hometown fan of all the Minnesota teams, especially the Vikings.  Sports have been a part of Adam’s life since childhood, and his passion for them has only grown over time.  He currently works in the Grand Canyon University Arena, where he does video work for many of the games and concerts.  You can follow Adam on Instagram and Twitter at @Mr_GCU.
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