What is Sterling’s racist history everyone is talking about? Here is a short review.

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This is not all of it. Not sure the Internet is big enough for all of it.

But when in the wake of the racists comments allegedly made by Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling a lot of places — PBT included — have talked about the history of racial incidents with Sterling. We now realize that a lot of people — and a lot of NBA players — really had no idea.

So consider this a little primer.

• In 2009 Sterling paid $2.75 million to settle a federal housing discrimination lawsuit, the largest sum in American history paid for such a suit. Testimony during that suit said Sterling (and his wife, she was part of this and pretended to be a government employee to gain access to tenant apartments and harass them) did not want African-Americans or Hispanics as tenants and his people should try to get Koreans.

In testimony as part of that suit, one of Sterling’s top property managers swore Sterling said he wanted Korean tenants, “That’s because of all the blacks in this building, they smell, they’re not clean. … And it’s because of all of the Mexicans that just sit around and smoke and drink all day.”

In that same suit the same property manager told the story of an elderly black woman in a Sterling building whose unit had flooded due to a leaky refrigerator and dishwasher that Sterling would not pay to repair. The woman asked for water damage reimbursement, Sterling allegedly told the manager “’I am not going to do that. Just evict the b****.'”

• Back in 2003 the Housing Rights Center and a group of tenants sued Sterling and his real estate company for discrimination against blacks and Latinos in rental practices. Among the bombs in the complaint was that Sterling said “Hispanics smoke, drink, and just hang around the building.” Sterling settled the suit.

• Back in 2004 one of the Clipper assistant coaches had prostate cancer surgery and Sterling refused to pay for the $70,000 operation (the Clippers players pitched in to get it done).

• Sterling was so frustrated with the play of Clipper Baron Davis he used to heckle his own player as he ran down the court.

• Long-time Clipper GM Elgin Baylor sued Sterling for wrongful terminate — a lawsuit Sterling won —but that lawsuit was filled with details of Sterling’s alleged behavior. Sterling reportedly said in one coaching interview: “I would like to have a white Southern coach coaching poor black players.”

In that same lawsuit Baylor charged Sterling would bring female guests into the Clippers locker room to admire the players’ “beautiful black bodies.”

Also in that lawsuit Baylor says during contract negotiations with Danny Manning Sterling told the star player “that’s a lot of money for a poor black kid.”

• Sterling has taken out full page newspaper ads to promote a $50 million project on Skid Row in Los Angeles, the Donald T. Sterling Homeless Center. Except it has never been built, or started, or plans submitted to the city. But the ads kept running.

• He has been sued by Mike Dunleavy to Bill Fitch — virtually every former Clipper coach because once he fired them Sterling refused to pay the rest of their guaranteed contracts.

From author Jeff Pearlman, there was the time Sterling was drunk with a woman on his arm at LAX when he showed up to interview Rollie Massimino for the Clippers coaching job and asked the college legend “I wanna know why you think you can coach these n———-.’”

• He had the Clippers celebrate February Black History Month by bringing a number of underprivileged youth to a Clippers game in March (aside the month error, the idea that “poor=black” was part of the impression).

• Finally, via Deadspin, we bring you this bit from one of Sterling’s many depositions over the years.

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Thunder drop 148 points on defenseless Cavaliers, win in rout

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If you wondered why Cleveland is so active in the trade market as the deadline nears — and why they are hunting out guys who can play defense — all you had to do was watch the Thunder dismantle the Cavaliers on Saturday afternoon on national television, 148-124.

The Thunder went into Quicken Loans Arena and list of offensive accolades is long (and ugly if you’re a Cleveland fan):

• Oklahoma City dropped 148 points.

• Oklahoma City shot 58 percent overall.

• Oklahoma City shot 46.7 percent from three.

• Oklahoma City got 44 percent of its shots within four feet of the rim.

• Oklahoma City’s big three of Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, and Paul George combined for 88 points.

• Westbrook had 23 points and 20 assists.

• Paul George had 36 points on 12-of-19 shooting.

Steven Adams had 25 points and 10 rebounds.

• Westbrook, George, Adams, and Anthony combined for 113 points on 66 shots.

To be fair, this was also about the Thunder playing one of their most complete offensive games of the season. They moved the ball beautifully, there wasn’t the “your turn/my turn” issues from earlier this season.

For a team still unsure of its identity and looking for validation, this game provided it.

It also provided another glimpse into the troubles in Cleveland.

Last season the Cavaliers counted on an exceptional offense to cover up for a defense that was decent when they cared and horrific when they didn’t, but when it got time in the playoffs Cleveland was able to flip the switch (it just wasn’t enough in the Finals). LeBron James has another gear and was able to lift his teammates up with it.

This season, they don’t seem to know where the switch is. The good defensive habits they had built over time seem lost and forgotten, as they run out a litany of minus defenders in their regular rotation.

Cleveland looks like a team that needs help at the trade deadline to ensure it gets out of the East. The question becomes will they throw in the Brooklyn pick to do it? And even if they did, would DeAndre Jordan really solve their issues right now?

 

Giannis Antetokounmpo out a couple of games to manage sore knee

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It’s not discussed much, but Giannis Antetokounmpo has a chronically sore knee that has been an issue since last summer. It’s not debilitating, it doesn’t require surgery, but it’s something Antetokounmpo and the Bucks need to actively manage.

Hence, Antetokounmpo is sitting out the next couple of games. From Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Milwaukee Bucks all-star Giannis Antetokounmpo will sit out Saturday night’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers as well as Monday’s home game against the Phoenix Suns as the team actively manages the health of Antetokounmpo’s sore right knee….

Antetokounmpo’s injury, which is not considered to be tendinitis, is regarded as something that is always going to bother him to some extent, according to a league source. There will be days where the discomfort is higher and some when it’s lower, and the team’s goal is to manage that on a daily basis to keep the injury from becoming severe or significant — something it is not considered to be at this point.

Antetokounmpo is going to get eight days of rest this way, which is the smart long-term move for the Bucks.

The challenge is the Bucks may be sixth in the East as you read this, but they are just one game up on the nine seed Pistons. They need to get wins without Antetokounmpo, which is hard because they have been outscored by 10.6 points per 100 possessions. However, they could be without him a lot longer if Antetokounmpo’s knee isn’t managed now.

Kristaps Porzingis: “Players know” he’s All-Star starter

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When picking the East All-Star starters, two of the three frontcourt choices were obvious: LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

For the third slot there were a few players who could make a case. The fans chose Joel Embiid third, Kristaps Porzingis fourth, and Kevin Love fifth. The media also had Embiid third and Porzingis fourth, but Al Horford fifth. That was enough to earn Embiid the starting nod.

The players voted Porzingis third, Embiid fourth, and Andre Drummond fifth. Needless to say, Porzingis thinks the players got it right, as he told Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News.

“Players know,” he said. “That’s all I’m going to say.”

If one were cynical, one would note the players also voted for Tyler Cavanaugh and Tyler Zeller, so how much do we trust their vote? Fortunately, we’re above such crass things.

Porzingis is a lock to make his first All-Star Game this year as a reserve (picked by the coaches).

What separated the two? Embiid has been a little more efficient this season, he’s stronger on the boards and had been a bigger defensive presence. Also, the Sixers have a better record than the Knicks, who have stumbled of late. Or, maybe the fans just like Embiid’s big personality more — he’s blowing off Rihanna.

Both of these guys should have a lot of All-Star starts in their future. This year it goes to Embiid.

 

Lakers make 14% of their free throws, win

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Jordan Clarkson‘s free throw rattled around the rim before falling out late in the first quarter. The Los Angeles crowd groaned. The Lakers missed their first five free throws, and the visiting Pacers led by seven.

It appeared to be one of those nights.

And it was. The Lakers shot just 2-for-14 (14%) on free throws Friday. But they still won, 99-86.

That’s the worst free-throw percentage with at least eight attempts by any team and the worst free-throw percentage regardless of attempts by a winning team in the Basketball-Reference database, which dates back to 1963-64.

Here’s the “leaderboard,” winners in purple and losers in gold:

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The Lakers are shooting an NBA-worst 69% on free throws, but last night took the cake. The offenders: