So far, the players union (and players in general) are happy with how Adam Silver and the league are handling the Donald Sterling situation. The league not only banned him for life and fined him $2.5 million, but also the league has started the process to force a sale of the team. The union also realizes that the Sterlings — both Donald and Shelly — are likely to fight this in court, which could drag out the process. Maybe into next season.
If it were to drag out too long and the Clippers players started to revolt and say they wouldn’t play for Donald Sterling, they have the backing of one prominent Clippers season ticket holder.
Steve Soboroff — a prominent Los Angeles business man and the current President of the Los Angeles Police Commission — told ABC 7 in Los Angeles if the Clippers players go he wants the money back for his courtside seats.
“If they stick together, I am with them. If those players go to the Lakers, I am going to become a Laker fan,” said Soboroff.
That means he would want his money for his Clippers season tickets back.
“It’s a lot of money. I can use that money. I’ll go wherever (the players) go,” said Soboroff.
How good are Soboroff’s seats? He was sitting next to Rihanna for a Clippers playoff game, she borrowed his phone to take a selfie, dropped it and cracked the screen. As an apology she donated $25,000 to the Los Angeles Police Foundation charity fund and signed the phone, which was then auctioned off for the same charity and raised $66,500. So yes, he has good seats.
Other season ticket holders are on board with this as well… but it’s not going to come to this.
The players want to play and the Clipper players want to stick together — they realize they are contenders, they don’t want to break this up. Especially not with the NBA making an effort.
There was some rumblings from players union VP Roger Mason that if this isn’t resolved by the start of next season the players could strike, or ask to be released from the Clippers. Other players shot that down (including LeBron James, who was said to lead the revolt) saying that is not in the works. Basically that was just a union rep trying to keep pressure on the league to move forward. That’s what union reps are supposed to do.
Just consider what Soboroff said another motivation for the league not to change course.