Sunday, April 27, 2014

Any Donald Sterling punishment isn't really "punishment"

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After the extended transcript of Donald Sterling's conversation with ex-girlfriend V. Stiviano was released by Deadspin, the resulting push to force Sterling to sell the Los Angeles Clippers will only grow louder. In taking an awful situation and making it even more repugnant, the potential punishment doesn't seem too bad for Sterling.

For an owner who is more well-known for his housing discrimination and penny pinching that has made his team profitable despite being a 30-year laughing stock, it seems necessary at this point to get Sterling out of his ownership. But would he even care?

Sterling bought the Clippers for $12.5 million in 1981, and the team is now worth $575 million. "Punishing" Sterling by forcing him to sell the Clippers would pocket the 81-year-old over $560 million if the team is sold at face value and even more if a bidding war ensues, which is more than possible considering the team's current success.

It's difficult right now to think of other ways to punish Sterling for his antiquated beliefs beyond forcing him to sell the team, which does nothing but line his pockets further. If the NBA can even find a way to push him out, a $560 million profit seems like an awfully nice consolation prize for an owner who has always lined his own pockets at the expense of his team and doesn't seem to care about his own public perception.

You win again, Donald Sterling. Disgusting.