I Should Like the Clippers, But…

Donald Sterling
(Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images)

The Clippers are everything that would normally give me a hardon as a sports fan. They’re a historically shitty franchise that has finally stumbled onto something good. They play some of the most entertaining basketball seen in the NBA in some time. Chris Paul is one of the nicest superstars, and Blake Griffin has a charisma and a sharp urbane wit that belies his Oklahoma upbringing.

Watching the Clippers this playoffs, and it’s clear how much they have improved this season with Doc Rivers at the helm. DeAndre Jordan has turned into a defensive and rebounding machine tying Bob McAdoo’s franchise record for rebounds in a playoff game last night with 22. Blake Griffin, once an amusing study in why a “big guy” should never run the offense, can actually create offense whether it be by finding the open man on the perimeter or actually creating his shot. Yes, Blake Griffin can create his own shot! And that is key with Chris Paul hobbled by aching hamstrings and a still sore shoulder.

And, of course, the Clippers have the sharpshooters in Jamal Crawford and the smouldering JJ Redick whom I still would love to go down on.

Add the bench players Danny Granger, Big Baby, Matt Barnes, et al, and you have a team that can actually win an NBA title. But one thing has me sitting on my hands: Donald Tokowitz Sterling.

Clippers owner Donald Sterling is one of the most odious people alive, to put it politely.

1. Donald Sterling sued a former mistress to get back a house he gave her during their relationship. And the deposition he gave was glorious. “It was purely sex for money, money for sex, sex for money, money for sex.” “Best sex was better than words could express.” “Maybe I morally did something wrong.”

2. Donald Sterling is a racist. In 2005 he had to pay $2.73 million to settle claims by the Justice Department that he engaged in discriminatory rental practices. He refused to rent to non-Koreans in Koreatown. He wouldn’t rent to African-Americans in Beverly Hills. He issued repeated eviction notices to a black woman despite her paying her rent on time.

3. Donald Sterling is an asshole. He heckled Baron Davis. While Baron Davis was a Clipper.

For years Sterling would not spend money on his team. General manager and living legend Elgin Baylor made only $350,000 annually. It wasn’t until the turn of the century that Sterling finally started spending money on players.

Let’s face it. Donald Sterling is a dickhead of the highest order, and him hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy will mean karma does not exist. Sure, it would mean Ralph Lawler would finally see a championship. Chris Paul will finally get his ring.

But Donald Sterling… I just can’t.

Updated 10:29 pm: TMZ has audio of the Donald being Donald.