Via Mediaite, does this sound like a guy who cares what the media thinks of him? Actual quote from a deposition Sterling gave a few years ago:
Tip of the iceberg. See, for instance, this 2009 Deadspin list of Sterling lowlights featuring multiple allegations of racism, sexual harassment, and egregious skinflintery. The man’s defining characteristic is shamelessness, so much so that I’m surprised that he questioned the accuracy of that recording of him rambling about black fans at Clippers games. He’s 80 years old, financially invulnerable, is looking potentially at a billion-dollar profit if he sells the team, and seems to all appearances to relish being a boor. Why not own it at this point and laugh in the public’s face? “The Magic Christian” is long overdue for a sequel anyway.
All of which is to say, what does Costas think the media can or should do beyond simply reporting this out to humiliate this guy into liquidating his showcase property? Why, for that matter, does he want the media actively trying to help the NBA out of its PR clusterfark in the first place? Let the commissioner and owners deal with it. There’s little they can do under league rules to take control of the team unless it’s in financial distress, but presumably a lucrative enough offer will ease Sterling out the door. (We’ll call the difference between the team’s appraisal value and the sales price in this case the “racism premium.”) Having the owners demand that he sell might be the only form of peer pressure on him that works; the social circles he moves in might have looked the other way at his previous misdeeds but they can’t look the other way at this. The only other obvious solution is for the Clippers to go on strike (preferably next year instead of right now, in the middle of the playoffs, for the fans’ sake). That would force Sterling either to sell or to replace them with a bunch of scrubs who would be roundly destroyed by every team they play … thereby making them exactly like most of the Clippers teams that have played for Sterling since he bought the team in the early 80s.
Exit question via former NBA star Larry Johnson: Is it time for racially segregated basketball leagues? I’m going to vote no.