Jason Whitlock hosted Bomani Jones on his ESPN podcast yesterday, and the whole thing is definitely worth your time — make sure to get to the end where they talk about Donald Sterling’s “game”, almost forecasting the latest leaked tape. About six minutes into the podcast (audio snippet below), they discussed their feelings about how Doc Rivers has largely gotten a free pass from the media after forcing his way from Boston to work for Donald Sterling, who had a documented track record of racism.
It’s hard to argue differently. Here’s the dialogue:
Whitlock: As much as I previously liked Doc Rivers, I don’t get it now — all this emotion, and ‘Oh I can’t coach for Donald Sterling’ — the guy never hid who we was. Let’s also remember. Doc Rivers was coaching for the best franchise in the history of the NBA and CHOSE to come to the LA Clippers. There’s a lot of hypocrisy here on Doc’s part.
Bomani: And Doc’s also too old to be one of those guys like ‘Hey, I can put up with it’. People warn us of situations all the time when we’re young, and we’re like ‘Eh, it’s no big deal’, and then you get there and you’re like ‘Oh my goodness, what in the world have I stepped into?’
Doc has kind of given an impression of naiveté, I suppose. Every step he seemed to have no idea, and I can’t figure that out. I can understand how you can have players — 25-26 years old — who were not aware of the magnitude of things with Sterling. I can see that. Doc’s been in the league for a long time. Every step of the way, he just seems so terribly uninformed.
So, after they got Sterling out of there, he then comes after that game and says, “The person I really feel bad for is Shelly; Shelly didn’t do anything to deserve this.” Then someone had to pull him aside and say, “Hey Doc, I don’t know if you heard, but they’ve been married for fifty-something years.”
And don’t forget, Doc played for the Clippers. It’s not as if he’s never been around that franchise. He played for the Clippers in the bad old days. (…)
Whitlock: I gotta be honest, I’ve lost some respect for Doc Rivers. I know everyone in the media is like ‘Oh, Doc is so classy’, but again, Doc Rivers had a great job in Boston. If he had wanted to go through the rebuilding process, they would’ve been glad to keep him. He chose to come coach for Donald Sterling, and now to act as if ‘Oh my God, I can’t be with this guy, I’m taking this hardcore stance’ just doesn’t hold water.
Audio snippet (again, the entire thing is well-worth a listen):