In light of the recent controversial racist comments made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, Commissioner Adam Silver decided to take an aggressive approach in addressing the situation, banning Donald Sterling from the NBA for life and ultimately forcing him to give up ownership of the team.
MetroWest Daily News and Celtics reporter Scott Souza, was shocked by the comments made, but not by who they came from. He also mentioned that while you could question former Celtics Coach Doc Rivers for making the decision to leave for L.A., you could also question anyone associated with the Clippers, including free agents and drafted players.
Souza told CLNS Radio’s Celtics Beat Podcast that Doc Rivers is “better suited than perhaps anybody in the NBA to get his team through that situation”
“I don’t think Sterling is going to go quietly,” Souza said in regards to Sterling’s eventual departure. “Adam Silver showed great leadership the other day. He was looking out for the players in a way you never really got that feeling over the last few years with David Stern.”
According to Souza, in a league that is about 75 Percent African American, Stern’s leadership felt less like a partnership, whereas Silver’s immediate action against Sterling indicates that he believes that it is a player’s league.
Stern was more concerned about strictly enforcing a dress code, while in the meantime, eagerly dismissed the Tim Donaghy ref scandal.
“It’s very refreshing, not only for NBA fans, but for sports fans in general, having commissioner that came out and defended the game as a whole as opposed to just the business aspect,” said Souza.
Souza also addressed the Celtics season, indicating that a 25 win season was frustrating for just about everyone associated with the team.
“It was a very frustrating year, when you have a lot of high profile media people that were openly advocating for them to lose to get a better draft position. It’s difficult to play, and it becomes difficult to coach in those situations.”
According to Souza, Stevens adjusted in a way that other college coaches have not been able to because Stevens came in to the position not thinking that he knew everything.
Souza also discussed embattled point guard Rajon Rondo as a franchise player, and whether fans could expect to see fireworks this summer.
“At one time Paul Pierce was just as polarizing as Rajon Rondo, Souza said. “He doesn’t seem like the type of player who can make a bad team better.”
General Manager Danny Ainge will most likely need to decide the future of the franchise this offseason – either one that revolves around Rondo and another established player, or one that decides to use the draft as a retooling method.
Said Souza: Danny Ainge is going to have to pick a side on the crossroads, whether the Celtics are going to trade Rondo and maybe get another high draft pick in this draft, or whether they’re going to trade that pick and a couple of young players and bring in that veteran to play with Rondo.