Clippers owner Donald Sterling is not a nice man. He has been sued by more than 20 Los Angeles residents for alleged racist housing practices, he has admitted he pressured and paid an employee to have sex with him in an elevator, and he had to pay up a $3 million settlement after the U.S. government prosecuted him for mistreatment of black and Latino tenants of his L.A. real estate holdings.
And that's just the non-basketball crimes. He has milked the golden goose egg that is the L.A. Clippers for all it is worth, putting out as cheap a product as possible while raking in profits owed to the sweetest arena lease in the nation and the particular circumstances of existing under the shadow of the Lakers. He has tortured his team's too-loyal fans, and I mean torture as in torture. You gotta watch that team if you don't believe it.
So that said, he has maimed bigger fish than Baron Davis.
But still, this, it should be noted, is not cool. From Yahoo!'s Marc J. Spears:
Sterling has expressed his displeasure about Davis' play by taunting him from his courtside seat at Clippers' home games, several sources told Yahoo! Sports. Among Sterling's verbal barbs:
- "Why are you in the game?"
- "Why did you take that shot?"
- "You're out of shape!"
Apparently, this is weighing on Davis. I wonder why. In the mundane world outside professional athletics, we call this a hostile work environment, and quite possibly harassment. In basketball, it's life -- Davis has heard much worse from other Staples Center spectators, and no doubt received not-so-pleasant barbs from coaches and assistant coaches, possibly teammates.
Franchise owners are supposed to be above verbal abuse of their own players. But who is going to hold them to that standard? Who is going to tell Donald T. Sterling, the man who gets away with whatever he wants whenever he wants with a simple slap on the wrist as punishment, that he can't rip his $15-million employee to shreds in public? Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert was fined $100,000 for penning the most hilariously contemptuous letter in NBA history. Do you believe for a second he wouldn't do it all over again?
This is the life of the rich and swollen-headed. Rules don't apply, and if they do, oh well.
Here's the best solution: Baron Davis, while on the floor, starts his own heckling directed at Sterling.
- "Why are you a racist scumbag?"
- "Why won't you sell the team?"
- "You're out of shape!"
It's only fair, right?