Slog Music

Music, Nightlife,
and Drinks

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Donald Sterling Fined $2.5 Million, Banned For Life, Forced To Reap Huge Profits

Posted by on Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 12:02 PM

LA Times:

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has wrapped a news conference in which he announced the NBA's punishment of Donald Sterling for controversial comments Sterling allegedly made about blacks. The Clippers owner was banned for life and fined $2.5 million. Silver also said he would urge NBA owners and the board of governors to force Sterling to sell the team. "I am banning Mr. Sterling for life from any association with the Clippers organization or the NBA," Silver said.

Sterling bought the LA Clippers in 1981 and Forbes says it would be a mistake to force him to sell now:

Sterling bought the Clippers for $12.5 million in 1981. In January we valued the team at $575 million, 13th in the 30 team league. But that valuation in tenuous given the response of the market to Sterling’s comments. The longer Sterling holds onto the team the more the market will punish Sterling. Sponsors are fleeing the Clippers.... Longer term, when the contracts of the current players end few, if any, good players will want to be part of the Clippers. It would become harder for the Clippers to sell tickets and their television audience will fall. The team’s revenue and value would plummet. A severe fine for Sterling? Absolutely. But a harsher penalty than pushing him to sell the Clippers would be letting him hang on so market forces crush the value of the team.


Comments (22) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Banned for life means he can't go to any NBA games or practices, or go to Clippers offices or facilities.

Also, the $2.5m is going to go to anti-discrimination and tolerance charities picked by NBA and the players association. I hope the It Gets Better Project gets some!
Posted by Hanoumatoi on April 29, 2014 at 12:07 PM · Report this
If the NBA forced Sterling to continue owning the team in order to "crush the value of the team", wouldn't that destroy the jobs and careers of a lot of people that work for the Clippers that aren't Donald Sterling?
Posted by algorhythm99 on April 29, 2014 at 12:13 PM · Report this
Die Zionist Scum Die
Posted by NBA death on April 29, 2014 at 12:15 PM · Report this
AFinch 4
This is a tough call...I don't really believe in the WSJ's free-market fantasy world - the one in which the lazziez-faire free-market hands out moral punishments - indeed, markets are basically amoral. Right now there's a lot of outrage, but that will fade, even moreso as Mr. Sterling fades (having been forced off the stage with the ban) - indeed, he'll remain the owner, profiting, while people forget he is the owner.

The NBA isn't the government and the franchise does not include any free speech protections - indeed, the WSJ and their ilk would defend to the death the right of the NBA to have selective private membership and freedom of least with regard to non-public viewers. Seems they are perfectly fine to dispossess him of his team now, even if he does get paid handsomely for the investment.
Posted by AFinch on April 29, 2014 at 12:17 PM · Report this
Isn't there some guy who wants to buy a basketball team and move them to Seattle?
Posted by GermanSausage on April 29, 2014 at 12:21 PM · Report this
What!?!!! An old rich white guy is racist? Never heard that before.
Posted by tacotime on April 29, 2014 at 12:22 PM · Report this
serves the ignorant fuck right.

he should have been prejudiced against xtians if he wanted to get away with it....
Posted by Beam on April 29, 2014 at 12:22 PM · Report this
or asians.

he and al sharpton could burn a few korean grocers...
Posted by snowhite on April 29, 2014 at 12:23 PM · Report this
if he wanted to get away with hateful racist trash talk he should have been a rapper.

then NBA players could be listening to him on their ipods.....
Posted by so full of shit on April 29, 2014 at 12:25 PM · Report this
Lew Siffer 10
Too bad he isn't black, then he could insert "nigga" every fifth word and people would think he was Einstein.
Posted by Lew Siffer on April 29, 2014 at 12:33 PM · Report this
I agree with @2. Wouldn't that hurt the players and employees?
Posted by DRF on April 29, 2014 at 12:44 PM · Report this
@4, the free market *is* meting out this punishment. There's no law enforcement entity of any kind involved, nor any legal infraction alleged. The guy made nasty comments, widespread attention brought public disapproval, and advertisers are now fleeing.
Posted by anona on April 29, 2014 at 1:15 PM · Report this
The NBA is just looking after itself. The principal reason for taking this action is to save present and future profits, not to punish Sterling.
Posted by PaulNSH on April 29, 2014 at 1:17 PM · Report this
Given Mr. Sterling's existing level of involvement of the team (strictly a fan), a lifetime ban is fairly minimal punishment. a $2.5 million fine is likewise peanuts.

I would have preferred that the NBA forgo these types of punishments in leiu of making a sacrificial stand in the name of the greater culture. I wanted them to simply seize the team and let Sterling have his day in court. The message being that the NBA was willing to whether whatever financial losses they might incur in order to deliver their brand of justice
Posted by fetish on April 29, 2014 at 1:26 PM · Report this
biffp 15
I doubt the genuineness of any argument suggesting everyone wait for the ideal time. No one in the NBA front office is stupid enough to let this drag on for two or three years. Would that be fair to the fans who support the league? @14, seizing a white billionaire's property for hate speech, are you hoping to melt Sean Hannity's brain? Last week, the federal government couldn't seize a herd cows grazing illegal from a welfare queen rancher.
Posted by biffp on April 29, 2014 at 1:46 PM · Report this
Bigotry will always be profitable in the good ol' USA. Our entire economy was built on it.
Posted by kwodell on April 29, 2014 at 2:00 PM · Report this
cressona 17
GermanSausage @5: Isn't there some guy who wants to buy a basketball team and move them to Seattle?

Damn, I shoulda thought of that. The Clippers become the Sonics, and Shawn Kemp gets bumped from the title of most spectacular dunker in Sonics history. For you non-NBA fans out there, I'm talking Kia pitchman Blake Griffin.

There would also be a certain moral justice to such a transaction. The LA Clippers--the team Sterling created when he moved the team from San Diego--would cease to exist. And I'm not sure they'd be all that missed. Face it, before Blake came along, they were the Chivas USA of the NBA. (Had to slip an MLS reference in there too.)
Posted by cressona on April 29, 2014 at 2:35 PM · Report this
camlux 18
Like the honey badger, the billionaire just doesn't care about financial penalties. So make him sell it before it ruins the standing of the rest of the league.
Posted by camlux on April 29, 2014 at 2:54 PM · Report this
Forbes keeps sticking to their "estimates", while teams are selling for 40-80% more than those estimates. We just saw it in Sacramento and Milwaukee. The same thing will happen in LA. The franchise's value won't go down. It's only going to increase. Sports teams aren't like any other business.
Posted by Chali2Na on April 29, 2014 at 3:02 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 20
@ 19, I was thinking that the NBA also has an interest in getting rid of Sterling that supercedes the fiscal punishment of allowing his team to devalue over time (a scenario that I doubt would come to pass, for the reason you cite).
Posted by Matt from Denver on April 29, 2014 at 3:08 PM · Report this
Looking For a Better Read 21
@19 - yep. There continues to be an artificial cap on supply of teams and a seemingly never-ending line of billionaire white dudes waiting to buy them when they do come available. $575M for a team in LA, when the frickin Sacramento Kings just sold for near the same amount? No chance; Guggenheim Partners (the Magic Johnson group that paid $2B for the Dodgers) would pay $800M, easy, as would any number of others.
Posted by Looking For a Better Read on April 29, 2014 at 5:43 PM · Report this
I don't care that he's going to make so much money off of it. There's no way around that that's remotely legal. The NBA doesn't have eminent domain powers. I think it's more important for the franchise to be out of Sterling's hand so no new black players are forced to play for him by the draft. That would be beyond the pale.
Posted by alguna_rubia on April 30, 2014 at 12:32 PM · Report this

Add a comment


Want great deals and a chance to win tickets to the best shows in Seattle? Join The Stranger Presents email list!

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy