Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Plea To Clipper fans. Support Your Team!

Enough of this, Clipper fans. Halt this distraction. Put this Donald Sterling scandal to rest. Put it where it belongs, in your rear view mirror. It's time to get back to the business at hand--winning games.


The NBA has spoken. It has done all it can do. Sterling has been ordered him away from the team--forever. The process is in motion to strip him and, hopefully, his family, of Clippers' ownership. That's all that can be done at the moment. The NBA doesn't have the power to force him to sell the team. The other owners can do that. They can vote him out some time in the next few weeks. Being a stubborn, litigious old coot, he may fight to keep the team and drag this mess out in the courts. Who knows?

Meanwhile Sterling still owns the team. Revenues from its operation still go in his pockets. Yes, supporting the team still means supporting the repulsive racist. But, Clipper fans, get beyond that. Don't desert the team when it needs you most.

Here's a reality you don't want to face. The Clippers have the best team in franchise history, a team capable of winning the NBA title. How did that happen? Who's responsible? You may hate to admit it, but Sterling is, to a large degree, responsible. Known for most of his years as an owner to be cheap and indifferent to the team's success, he cleaned up his act in the last few years, hired some smart people, loosened the purse strings and set the wheels in motion to field a winning team.

He may be a racist moron but, under his watch, the Clippers have morphed into a top-notch team. As much as you hate to, give him credit. This is a winner, to a large degree, because of him. Fortunately, he didn't let his racist views interfere with building this team. He could have done something stupid like hiring all white management and player personnel, but he didn't. Being a racist doesn't make him dumb.

So, Clipper fans, just because it finally became public that he's a racist, you want to abandon the team. The fact that he's a racist really has nothing to do with the team. That's in his head. He didn't impose his views on others. The woman he was talking to when the racist rants were recorded is part black and part Mexican. Not only is he a racist, but he's a confused racist. He doesn't even know how to be a good racist. He can't even stay away from the people he hates.

Clippers fans, don't let what goes on in Sterling's mashed-potato brain keep you from backing this team. What has changed in the last few days? You found out that the owner of your team is a racist. You think that comes as a surprise to coach Doc Rivers or stars Chris Paul and Blake Griffin? Of course not. It's been an open secret for years. He's a racist bully. Stories about his rude, crude, mean behavior have been circulating for decades. Just about everyone who goes into business with Sterling on a  high level knew what they were in for.

What's bothering you, Clipper fans,  is that supporting the team means supporting racism. You feel tricked and betrayed. But look at it this way. Why should what goes on in Sterling's head keep you from supporting his team. These people are not racists. They're victims, in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Right now, these "victims" need your support. If you have tickets, go to the playoff games. If you don't have tickets, watch on TV. But support the Clippers. If they are focused they have a good shot at winning the Western Conference championship, maybe even the NBA title.

It would be a shame, Clipper fans, if this team didn't reach its potential because it was sidetracked by this scandal. Don't let that happen.