Mark Cuban has warned about the slippery slope of removing Donald Sterling as owner of the Clippers. As Cuban explained, he found Sterling’s words abhorrent, such severe punishment for a private conversation that was possibly illegally recorded doesn’t exactly thrill the Mavericks owner.
Cuban also said he might have to be a hypocrite in the June 3 vote, indicating he’d vote against Sterling anyway.
First of all, that vote might not happen. If the sale of the team to Steve Ballmer gets approved first – it’s trending that way – there would be no need to remove Sterling as owner. The team would already be Ballmer’s.
But if the vote happens, Cuban is a real wildcard.
Cuban on opposition to a potential vote against removing Sterling, as transcribed by Mike Matvey of the New York Daily News:
“F— ’em. I don’t care if nobody shows up to games. If I think the ethical thing to do is to vote against 29 other guys, I will,” Cuban said on SiriusXM Radio
I’m convinced Adam Silver has the necessary votes to remove Sterling. I can’t imagine him going down this road with out the assurance of 22 owners to support him.
I’m not convinced every owner would vote to remove Sterling, though. That’s not because they support what Sterling said, but because they don’t want to lower the barriers to them someday losing their own team.
However, I’ve always believed the final vote would be unanimous. All it would take is Silver telling the dissenters their votes would be leaked. Why take that public backlash for a losing cause?
Maybe Cuban is just crazy enough to do it.
More likely, he won’t have to make that choice – but it would be interesting if the vote actually occurs and he’s confronted with the decision.
By the way, the players union should remember Cuban’s quote during the next Collective Bargaining Agreement impasse. If NBA owners don’t care about revenue – good luck making money without fans in a huge market – why should the players sacrifice salary to make the league profitable?