Shelly Sterling has been a fixture at Clippers games. She sits courtside, she and her friends turn the media dining room into “club Sterling” at Clippers games. Like her estranged husband, she basks in the celebrity (sycophantic though it is) of owning the Los Angeles Clippers.
She owns half the team and is not going to give it up willingly.
She said as much already and Thursday her attorney promised a fight to keep her share of the team, as he told the Associated Press.
“She will not agree to a forced or involuntary seizure of her interest,” said Shelly Sterling’s attorney, Pierce O’Donnell. “As her lawyers we will fight vigorously to defend her property rights….”
O’Donnell said Mrs. Sterling “abhors” the comments and that Silver had “exonerated” Mrs. Sterling in his statement last week by saying there was no decision made about other members of the family….
O’Donnell said Mrs. Sterling is an ardent Clippers fan and plans to attend Friday’s playoff game against Oklahoma City.
“We abhor guilt by association in America,” O’Donnell said. “The sins of the husband cannot be imputed to the wife or children.”
Well, except for Shelly Sterling shows up all over some of the housing discrimination lawsuits filed against Sterling. She is no innocent bystander here. She allegedly posed as a government inspector to both find out what race the tenants of their buildings were and to harass some of them. Just a week ago she said her husband was not a racist to the cameras. She is far, far from clean in all this.
But she could be tougher to remove.
Here is what NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said at his press conference regarding Shelly (it’s far from the exoneration her attorney claims):
“No, there have been no decisions about other members of the Sterling family, and I should say that this ruling applies specifically to Donald Sterling and Donald Sterling’s conduct only.”
As far as the players association has said — and very likely the sponsors and some of the fans feel the same way — there is no difference between her ownership and his.
That said, the Sterlings fight and bully in court. Silver had to know this was coming. When he stepped to the podium he had to be prepared for a fight in the courts. He seemed to be.
Well played Stephen Curry, well played.
He was joking around with Justin Timberlake at the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe this weekend (you can watch it on NBC, check your local listings) when Curry poked a little fun at himself by throwing his mouthguard.
Last time he did that he got a $25,000 fine. This time he got some laughs.
LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and a number of Cavaliers and Brooklyn Nets players wore “I can’t breathe” T-shirts in warmups after the death of Eric Garner in New York. LeBron and his then Heat teammates wore hoodies for a photo shoot after the Travon Martin shooting. NBA players have made other protest fashion statements, with no repercussions from the league.
But when WNBA players wore black warmup shirts in support of Black Lives Matter and other anti-violence protests, the WNBA came down with fines for the Indiana Fever, New York Liberty and Phoenix Mercury ($5,000) and players involved ($500) for uniform violations. That led to a lot of backlash — including among WNBA players. Some refused to answer basketball questions with the media after recent games.
Saturday, the WNBA rescinded the fines. As they should have.
The women’s players’ union supported the move, via a statement from the director of operations Terri Jackson.
“We are pleased that the WNBA has made the decision to rescind the fines the league handed down to the players on the Fever, Liberty, and Mercury. We look forward to engaging in constructive dialogue with the league to ensure that the players’ desire to express themselves will continue to be supported.”
I want a league — for men or women — where player’s individuality and statements can be made — I don’t want the NBA to be the button-down, cookie cutter NFL. Let the players be themselves. And if players want to weigh in on the biggest social issue of our time, they should. Without fear of repercussion.
Good on the WNBA for coming around to that.
Meyers Leonard could be poised for a big season in Portland. His minutes jumped last season because he provided spacing. With Portland adding Evan Turner on the wing to go with Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, any big who can stretch the floor is going to get run, and Leonard has turned himself into a stretch four.
Leonard just hopes he can show what he can do at the start of the season — he’s still recovering from shoulder surgery. Here is what he told the Associated Press.
“My hope is to be ready right around the start of the season,” he said. “It’s a progression, first introducing rebounding, grabbing stuff overhead, then one-on-one, three-on-three, extending to the full court. We’ll see. You just never know.”
Leonard had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder in April (they could have used him in the playoffs), and the timeline then was to have him back around the start of the season. Before he was shut down, he proved enough to get a four-year, $41 million contract extension with the Trail Blazers this summer.
The Trail Blazers will start Al-Farouq Aminu at the four, and Moe Harkless can certainly play there too (I’m far less sold on the future of Noah Vonleh). Leonard wants to get back before someone starts to steal any of his minutes.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) The New Orleans Pelicans say they have signed free-agent forward Terrence Jones and re-signed guard Tim Frazier.
A person familiar with the negotiations says Jones, a four-year veteran, signed a one-year deal Friday for the NBA minimum of about $1.14 million, while Frazier has signed a two-year deal worth about $4.1 million. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Pelicans have not released contract terms.
The 6-foot-9 Jones, who was Anthony Davis‘ teammates on Kentucky’s 2012 national championship team, has spent his first four NBA seasons with Houston, posting career averages of 10.4 points and 5.8 rebounds.
Frazier played in 16 games for New Orleans late last season, averaging 13.1 points, 7.5 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.4 steals in 29.3 minutes per game.