Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Mitch Chortkoff
Sports Editor 

Clippers' Sale Is The Right Decision

Sterling’s Efforts To Delay it Fail

 

August 11, 2014



Donald Sterling tried everything to prevent the sale of his Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.

But when the sale was finalized Tuesday Clipper fans could rejoice. This is the right decision, the proper outcome of the prolonged court cases.

Sterling owned the team for 33 years but it was time for a change. The Clippers are now one of the NBA’s elite teams and deserve the opportunity to focus on basketball instead of allowing Sterling to cast a shadow over the franchise.

The man fought a gallant fight. He never backed away from the legal battle.

But, as Shelly Sterling said, “We now have the best possible owner. Things are going to be better than before.”

Ballmer said “I will be hard core in giving our great coach, the players and fans support.”

“It’s an amazing day in Clippers history,” said Coach Doc Rivers.

In this bizarre story it was Shelly Sterling who negotiated the sale to Ballmer.

The price was very high but Ballmer likened it to buying oceanfront property.

Donald Sterling stands to receive $1 billion from the sale, an excellent consolation prize. Someone else in his position would be happy but that’s not his nature.

During the past NBA season I had the opportunity to be around Rivers quite a bit. I learned that the Clippers have one of the best coaches in the league and much more.

Rivers involved himself with many facets of the organization and most recently was given a new title which clearly welcomes his input in matters besides coaching the team.

Yet Rivers grew weary of Donald Sterling’s courtroom drama and it’s possible he would have resigned if Sterling had prevailed.

“We like our team and so we made just a few changes,” said Rivers.

The roster begins with Blake Griffin and Chris Paul. The other parts are carefully plugged in. For example, the Clippers acquired Steve Hawes as a backup center recently but then brought back Glen (Big Baby) Davis, who seemed on the brink of being discarded.

I don’t think the Clippers are equal to the two most prominent Western Conference teams, San Antonio or Oklahoma City. But they’re close.

Their fans should be relieved about the outcome of the sale. So let’s get back to basketball.

 

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