Donald Sterling has been covered extensively this week, so it’s more than forgivable to be a little bit fatigued of him by now. However, the LA Times has an interesting new report that the NBA wanted to remove the embattled Clippers owner as far back as 1982. While Sterling was apparently late in payments to players, hotels, and others, it was another recorded audio tape that led the powers-that-be to want him ousted:
According to stories in The Times detailing the matter, the special committee focused on comments Sterling made to a luncheon earlier that year insisting the Clippers needed to finish last so they could draft a player like Ralph Sampson. Sterling said at the time that the remarks were misunderstood. The NBA, however, fined him $10,000 and, when the committee met, it listened to recordings of the luncheon.
Though Sterling would announce his intentions to sell the team, that never materialized, and, a few months later, David Stern (who was NBA president, but not yet commissioner) was reportedly describing the Clippers franchise as a “first-class” operation. Funny how things work themselves out.
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