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

33 Comments

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.

source:

Richard Jefferson: LeBron James was sick during Cavaliers-Celtics Game 3

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Leave a comment

LeBron James was inexplicably bad in the Cavaliers’ Game 3 loss to the Celtics on Sunday.

Except maybe it was explicable.

Cleveland forward Richard Jefferson, via Fox Sports Ohio

I know he won’t talk about it, so I’ll give my big guy a shout. Deron Williams missed shootaround this morning, because he had like a little bug, just really lethargic, had no energy. And I think that’s what Bron had. And sometimes these little bugs can go around.

When Deron didn’t show up to shootaround, it kind of started clicking in his head. Because for him it was more of like, “I don’t know why I was so lethargic, why I had no energy, I had nothing.” And so, these little things happen. There was no panic.

Look, he was lethargic. They hit a bunch of tough shots. If Marcus Smart doesn’t go 7-for-10 from 3, then we’re not even talking about it.

I don’t know whether LeBron was truly sick or Jefferson is just trying to help a teammate’s reputation. It can be both.

LeBron was better in Game 4, but not quite right.

If he’s dealing with a minor illness, that could clear up by Game 5 tomorrow. It should especially clear up by the Finals, which begin June 1. That’d be great news for the Cavs, who have no chance against the Warriors if LeBron isn’t at full strength.

The uncertainty of why LeBron hit a slump now of all times loomed over Cleveland’s playoff future. But Jefferson provided reason for the Cavaliers to breathe easy.

Michigan’s D.J. Wilson staying in NBA draft

Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Michigan bigs D.J. Wilson and Moe Wagner declared for the NBA draft in similar situations – coming off breakout seasons, particularly excelling down the stretch, and sitting on the first-round bubble for the NBA draft. Neither hired an agent, leaving their options open.

But this is where their paths diverge.

Michigan releases:

University of Michigan junior forward D.J. Wilson announced today (Wednesday, May 24) he will forgo his final two seasons of eligibility and submit the necessary paperwork to remain as an early entrant into the 2017 NBA Draft.

University of Michigan sophomore forward Moritz Wagner announced today (Wednesday, May 24) he will return to the Wolverine basketball program after removing his name from consideration for the 2017 NBA Draft.

Wilson and Wagner both said they’d stay in the draft only if they’d be first-round picks. I wonder whether Wilson got a first-round promise or is just confident enough he’ll get picked there. The latter wouldn’t be a bad bet. Even if the 22-year-old Wilson slips into the second round, this might be the peak of his draft value.

At times, it’s easy to forget Wilson is a 6-foot-11 big man. He shoots 3-pointers, dribbles and moves like a wing. He also too often shies from contact, which particularly hurts his rebounding.

But he’s a big. Those perimeter skills wouldn’t shine quite as brightly if he were matched up with opposing wings. Wilson has a 7-foot-3 wingspan, and he also protect the rim. However, his shot-blocking relies on a bounciness that’s not as effective when pressed into more physical matchups. He needs some space to launch – but when he has it, it also pays off in quality finishing at the rim.

Wilson has the tools to be a good NBA power forward, but he’s still a work in progress. In other words, he still looks like a borderline first-round pick.

Tyronn Lue imitates LeBron James’ criticism of reporter (video)

Leave a comment

After the Cavaliers Game 3 loss to the Celtics, LeBron James accused reporter Kenny Roda of showing up/asking questions only when Cleveland loses.

Questioned by Roda after the Cavs’ Game 4 win, Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue lightheartedly lobbed the same criticism at Roda.

Coaching LeBron can be tricky. Lue must both challenge the greatest player of his generation and handle LeBron’s passive-aggressiveness. Lue can neither let LeBron walk all over him nor bark orders at him.

In this case, it seems Lue is trying to diffuse LeBron’s pettiness before it turns into something bigger. Considering how silly LeBron’s initial comments were, I bet the star is on board.

Tony Bradley becoming North Carolina’s first one-and-done in nearly a decade

Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Leave a comment

North Carolina hasn’t had a one-and-done player in eight years.

Since Brandan Wright declared for the 2008 NBA draft after his freshman year, the Tar Heels have emphasized player development over multiple years. That practice has yielded two national titles, including this year’s, in that span.

It also limited freshman center Tony Bradley’s playing time this season, as he was stuck behind seniors Kennedy Meeks and Isaiah Hicks.

But Bradley shined enough in 15 minutes per game to follow Wright as one-and-done from Chapel Hill.

Jeff Goodman of ESPN:

Bradley is a borderline first-round pick, though this late decision when many expected him to return to school indicates he believes he’ll go in the first round. There’s certainly logic in turning pro before scouts pick apart his game over a larger sample.

Bradley is huge – 6-foot-11 with a 7-foot-5 wingspan – but he’s not explosive. The hope is someone in the Rudy Gobert mold.

Whomever drafts Bradley will hope his elite offensive rebounding is a harbinger. But why is his defensive rebounding and rim protection so forgettable?

He moves and passes fairly well for his size, but considering he’s so big, those aren’t necessarily skills for him to hang his hat on. If a teammate sets him up, he uses his size to finish well at the rim.

Beyond his size and offensive rebounding, Bradley doesn’t set himself apart one way or the other. Whether that’s good or bad depends how deep in the draft it is.