Donald Sterling: Where from here?

What can the Clippers do About Donald Sterling?

As if the NBA didn’t have enough drama during the post-season?

The L.A. Clippers are in the thick of an enthralling series match-up against the Golden State Warriors, but it’s all been overshadowed by a nine minute long recording.

The recording reportedly consists of the L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling during a discussion with his girlfriend, during which he tells her not to bring black people to his games, or post pictures online with any minorities.

It’s worth mentioning that this interview, which can be found on TMZ, has yet to be verified and could well be edited, but even still it makes for unpleasant listening.

Where does Sterling go from here?

There’s only one realistic option for Sterling now, and that’s to get out of the Clippers and the NBA altogether.

In a sport synonymous in the black community, his position has quickly become completely untenable.

His team have turned against him, as you’d expect, showing a united front against the comments by wearing their warm-up jerseys inside out throughout their game 4 match against the Warriors, which they lost 118-97.

Magic Johnson, who’s mentioned several times through the recording has already spoken out, along with some of the biggest names in the NBA.

This criticism isn’t just being broadcast over social media, it’s across every possible facet of the broadcast medium, in fact, the only people who have stayed silent are the Clippers themselves, who have obviously been told to keep quiet for now.

The NBA is yet to comment on the matter, and have a press conference set for this Tuesday, where Commissioner Adam Silver will presumably speak out against the owner.

What comes of this press conference will obviously have a dramatic effect on how the Clippers move on from this, but there is no circumstance in which Sterling comes out smelling of roses by a long chalk.

Where do the Clippers go from here?

The real issue here for L.A. is business, whilst the Clippers lost their most recent game, the problems shouldn’t have a huge effect on their performances on court if Doc Rivers does his job properly.

Fans have already discussed boycotting the game, with many of the Clipper faithful unwilling to give money to a public racist, even if his team are in the playoffs.

It isn’t just ticket sales which are the issue, several companies have already withdrew their sponsorship from the franchise in an effort to distance themselves from the issue.

This is going to cause an extremely serious problem for whoever takes over Sterling’s role, if he does leave of course, and one which will take years to fix.

The people this hurts most are the fans without a doubt, not only are they being mocked by their owner, but they are now stuck in the awkward situation of wanting their team to win, but not wanting to support an owner that is seemingly racist.

The players are in an equally awkward position as well, being asked to ignore everything swirling around Twitter and Facebook, and focusing on playing for a man who most players wouldn’t condone working for.

Will Donald Sterling Go?

What’s Going to Happen?

If the NBA come out and do what is expected and ask Sterling to stand down, we will likely see a quick-fire sale of the Clippers which the league will support whole-heartedly.

Sterling himself will have to lie low for a long time, and his overall reputation will be forever dented, and his hopes of owning another sports franchise will be slim to none without a doubt.

Not only will it be the right move for himself, more importantly, it’s the right move for a team which is looking like a Championship contender, and doesn’t need to deal with issues as old-fashioned and blatantly wrong as this.

Hopefully this doesn’t completely overshadow the playoff run the Clippers are putting together, no matter how long it lasts…

Luke Hatfield is the creator and editor of BouncyOrangeBall, with an extensive knowledge of the NBA and basketball in general.

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