When you attended a Los Angeles Clippers game as a media member you got to see the media dining area become “Club Sterling” — Donald and/or Shelly Sterling would be there, holding court, surrounded by the people who wanted to be near them and kiss their… you know. They clearly savored it. They loved being the people that owned the Clippers.
Shelly Sterling gets to keep a piece of that.
Which is disturbing. This is not a good person we are talking about.
It’s part of the price of the sale of the team to Steve Ballmer, a sale Shelly helped orchestrate by pushing aside Donald in the Sterling Family Trust with a Machiavellian move. It spared the NBA owners having to vote out one of their own, a precedent their preferred not to set. It got the team to an owner the NBA has wanted to bring in. It saves face.
Shelly Sterling no longer owns any piece of the Clippers, but here is what she does still get as part of this sale.
• Official title of “owner emeritus”
• Official title of “Clippers No. 1 fan”
• Two courtside tickets for all Clippers home games
• Ten tickets in the good seats in the lower bowl of Staples Center for all Clippers home games
• A dozen VIP passes to the luxury lounges (or media room) for all Clippers home games
• Six parking passes for every Clippers home game
• Three championship rings should the Clippers win a title
Why is that disturbing? Because Shelly Sterling is far from clean in all of Donald Sterling filth.
Shelly Sterling shows up all over some of the housing discrimination lawsuits filed against Sterling. 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. While this was all going on she said her husband was not a racist to the cameras.
But she’s the lesser of two evils for the league — she got Donald out, she got the team to Ballmer and avoided an owners’ vote on him, so they can live with Ballmer paying this price to her. She gets to keep this part of her life and identity.
Still, this whole thing makes me feel like I need to take a shower.
The Spurs are counting on Danny Green to regain his top-flight “3&D” form this season and give them another defender and weapon when they go up against that potential juggernaut out West. And the Clippers, too.
But that comeback is getting off to a slow start, the team announced Friday.
This likely means a little more run for Manu Ginobili and Kevin Martin to start the season, plus some funky lineups from Gregg Popovich.
Green played great defense last season but struggled from three (where 60 percent of his attempts are taken). Green shot 33.2 percent from deep on the season, which is well below his career average of 40.3 percent (and last year’s down numbers were buoyed by a red-hot January, he was much worse the rest of the season).
It’s something for Spurs fans to monitor, they need to get his legs right before his shot can return.
The NBA’s award season seems more wide open than ever.
Ben Simmons was going to enter the season as the heavy favorite to win Rookie of the Year, but with him out injured the door is flung open to a lot of players. Coach of the Year is always a game of “which coach exceeds expectations.” Even MVP seems more open with Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant — the award winners the past three seasons — teamed up in the Bay Area.
In this latest PBT Extra I throw out my predictions for the awards, but let’s get on with the games next week and see who earns them.
During the ProBasketballTalk podcast with Sixers coach Brett Brown, you could hear the frustration in his voice. He has all these talented young front line players — Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel, Ben Simmons, Dario Saric, Jahlil Okafor — but he can’t begin to figure out how they all fit together if he can’t get them on the court at the same time.
That problem just got worse.
The Sixers announced that Nerlens Noel will miss time following surgery to deal with soreness in his left knee. Here is the word from the press release itself:
During the normal course of evaluation and treatment for his left adductor strain, which was identified on October 6, Noel reported localized soreness in his left knee. After consulting with multiple specialists, the source of the soreness was identified as inflamed plica. Noel has elected to address the injury via a minor surgical procedure in the coming days.
The team gives no timeline for Noel’s return. Soreness from the plica — a band of tissue around the knee that is not important following birth — happens in some players and can be fixed by an arthroscopic surgery that removes the area being irritated. While the surgery is minor, it usually takes around six weeks to bounce back from this.
That likely means a little more run for Jahlil Okafor (just coming back from an injury of his own) and Richaun Holmes. But it’s just another injury setback for a Sixers team plagued by them.
The Sixers also announced that Jerryd Bayless will not have surgery on his wrist, but will remain out and be evaluated in two weeks.
This was flat out incredible.
After a back-and-forth, even series between the Minnesota Lynx and the Los Angeles Sparks, it came down to the final seconds (although maybe it shouldn’t have, the WNBA admitted Friday the referees missed a call with 1:14 left, giving the Sparks’ Nneka Ogwumike a bucket on a shot after the shot clock expired).
The biggest stars took over at the end, as you can see in the video above: L.A.’s Candace Parker drives and scores with 19 seconds left putting the Sparks up 75-74; Minnesota responded with a Maya Moore jumper to take the lead back, then it came down to Ogwumike (the WNBA’s 2016 MVP) getting the ball after a block by Sylvia Fowles and following it up with a fadeaway bucket that gave Los Angeles the title.
Congrats to Candace Parker on the win, after how she’s been overlooked on the awards circuit in the WNBA this season, this is some sweet revenge.