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Sterling, Isiah and the Circus it Would Create

It appears to be true: After being rebuffed by Jerry West, Donald Sterling is seeking to hire Isiah Thomas as the Clippers new GM. The worst owner in the NBA, possibly in all of professional sports, has sought to form an alliance with the man who sullied one of basketball's proudest franchises. Okay, so Zeke had a little help from owner Jim Dolan, and putative star Stephon Marbury. But as the general manager, then coach, then primary defendant for the Knicks, Thomas will forever remain the face of that epic meltdown. ↵
↵Sounds crazy, right? Either that, or a sinister match made in heaven. Sterling is notoriously cheap; Isiah's good at sleeper picks, and has an outside shot at putting together a team with nothing but second-round picks. They also share an unspoken bond: Sterling's been sued for racist housing practices, while Thomas has a very special, and apparently illegal, way with the ladies. What's more, this will make the Clippers an instant media circus whether or not they ever win another game. With their current mismatched, malcontent roster, it seems like they definitely need to go in a new direction -- one that doesn't depend to living up to conventional expectations. ↵
↵I cannot for a second pretend to understand how Sterling thinks. But imagine, for a second, a Clippers team run into the ground like the Knicks were, all the while selling tickets for spectacle alone. Then, through the draft, Thomas assembles a group of players just good enough to keep Stern from stepping in and demanding they stop trading lottery picks for multiple second-rounders. Payroll dwindles, but every once in a while, Zeke or Sterling gets hit with a perfunctory lawsuit and shows up at games to make a public statement. ↵
↵And then, to cap it all off, they convince Bobby Knight to come on as head coach. That's money in the bank.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.