For many in the NBA, both as employees and fans, yesterday seemed to be like Christmas, as they all got the gift they wanted. To me it also felt like that holiday as well, but for a lot different reason, since what I saw was a lot of window dressing and not much more.
Sure, Commission Adam Silver did all the right things, and then some. He fined LA Clippers’ owner, Donald Sterling, the most her could… $ 2.5 million. He has banned the man for life from the NBA. The comish has even started talks to have Sterling taken out of the “club” by having the other NBA owners vote on whether or not he should have to sell the franchise. Yes, yes, all of that is nice, on the surface. But what does it all mean?
The fine handed out is a big more than pocket change for someone of the statue of Sterling. And while the banning the owner for life from going to games, or facilities, or anything having to do with the NBA at the end of the line who is still going to profit from the Clippers? The fact that the National Basketball Association can force Donald Sterling to sell his team might be great, but at the end of the line, making over a half of billion dollars once he has found a buyer does not truly seem like a punishment at all.
I was impressed by the speediness in which this was done. I found the reaction of all, in supporting the new NBA Commissioner, excellent in that it felt as a united front. But at the end of the line, like it or not, maybe this was a knee jerk reaction that needed to happen, but would not be affective as something that would take a few years to develop.
I am in favor of the fine and of the ban for life. Who wouldn’t be? But for the rest, let him keep the franchise, and let the players and the fanbase turn it into a ghost town. With the stands all but empty and with the knowledge that no one would either re-sign or go to the LA Clippers as a free agent that franchise would plummet in value like a lead balloon. And for a man like Sterling, who has always been about money, hitting him in the wallet would be the worst type of penalty he can get. Watching what could be close to 3/4 of a billion dollars shrivel up due to the fact that the people he did not want coming to his games actually do not, be it on the stands on in the locker room, would be the ultimate punishment for a man like Sterling.
Now that the first has been taken it is up to many, including bloggers like myself, to keep this going. It is up to the NBA to have this vote to oust Donald Sterling, but the vote needs to be public, because I could care less if the ¾ mark is reached, I want to know who would have voted against this. It is up to the players to keep the pressure on this, in a proper way, so that it does not go away. Last, but not least, it is up to the media, be it main stream or social, to keep this story in the lime light. It is up to all, fans, media, players, bloggers, anyone else, to ask the question "what is going on?" anytime the story seems to have fallen to the back burners.
But just like this episode, there are others that need to be dealt with. More stern punishments for players that make mistakes off the court/field in every single sport, showing that all need to buckle down. Someone finally making a stand on the NFL franchise and its name, which in a league that now wants to give out penalties for anyone using the “n” word, that word is just as bad. Fixing the Sterling problem is a step in the right direction, but there is plenty more to do before sports are fixed of these types of things.