There were many reactions on television, radio and social media to the infamous Donald Sterling audio clips obtained by TMZ and Deadspin this week.
They ranged from annoyed to disgusted. Nobody came to the billionaire owner’s defense.
But while Sterling was universally condemned, there may not have been a stronger reaction than the one tweeted by current New York Knicks executive Larry Johnson.
The former UNLV star basically suggested the formation of a league specifically for African-Americans.
“Black people (you’re) Focusing on the wrong thing. We should be focusing on having our own, Own team own League! To For Self!!’’
While it would be great to see more minority ownership in the NBA, a separate league for black players and owners hardly seems like the solution.
According to the New York Post, this is not the first time Johnson has made controversial statements about race relations in the league.
The paper pointed out that during the 1999 NBA Finals, with his Knicks playing San Antonio, Johnson said: “We’ve got a lot of rebellious slaves on this team.”
Seems a bit much.
Either way, Johnson’s solution isn’t feasible. Pressuring Sterling into selling the team, preferably to a group headed by Magic Johnson, actually might be a good start.
The league announced that Sterling would be banned for life from the NBA on Tuesday. He will also be fined $2.5 million.
It’s the first major decision for new commissioner Adam Silver. He should probably call up David Stern and express his aggravation at the longtime head honcho.
Sterling’s beliefs and attitudes were no secret and there is no doubt the league is complicit in allowing him to keep his team for as long as he has already.
Stern needs to apologize to Silver for leaving him this mess. Not only did Stern allow the nonsense to go unchecked, he actually rewarded Sterling a few years back by vetoing the Lakers trade for Chris Paul and handing the star point guard to the Clippers instead.
The only way Silver can handle the situation any worse is by forcing Sterling to transfer power to Cliven Bundy.