At media day yesterday, Chris Paul talked about a long offseason, especially after an uncharacteristic meltdown in Game 5 vs. the Oklahoma Thunder. See story.
Photo by Associated Press
Reserve guard Darren Collison proved to be a vital part of the Clippers this past season. He not only played with passion, he came through with some big performances when his team really needed them.
For example, he scored 18 points on 7 of 12 shooting in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals against Oklahoma City that helped his team to a 101-99 come-from-behind victory that knotted the series at two games apiece. Collison, who is 6-foot, also had seven rebounds in that one.
Indeed, Collison – out of UCLA – is a good player to have on your team. He averaged 11.4 points and 3.7 assists on the season, 8.5 and 2.4 during 13 playoff games. He did have some poor games during the post-season, but at 26 years old there is plenty of time for him to improve in that regard.
One of the regular-season statistics that stands out was his 37.6-percent shooting percentage from 3-point range. It was the second-highest of his five-year career – he shot 40 percent in his rookie season – but it should be noted that he took 189 3-point shots this past season compared to just 115 in that 2009-10 rookie campaign. That shows a player who is getting much more comfortable with his long-range shot.
It will be interesting to see what happens with his contract moving forward. He has a player option for next season at $1,985,500.
Collison, by the way, also showed versatility in that of the 80 regular-season games in which he played he started 35 because of injuries to other players.
Baumann had lunch Sunday at a Malibu deli with Sterling, where the pair talked about the pending $2 billion Clippers sale to the former Microsoft executive.
“Shelly just lit up when she talked about him,” Baumann recalled. “She said, “I absolutely adore him.’”
Asked if she thinks that Donald Sterling’s lawsuit will jeopardize the sale, Baumann said: “My money is always on Shelly.”
Ballmer offered the winning bid last Thursday for the Clippers, ending a fast-tracked process to sell the franchise owned by Sterling and her husband Donald since 1981. The NBA gave tentative approval to the deal, while Shelly Sterling agreed not to sue the NBA. She also indemnified the league against lawsuits from others, including Donald Sterling.
However, on Friday, Donald Sterling sued the NBA, seeking to block a forced sale of the team, and throwing into question the Ballmer deal.
Donald Sterling also successfully fought off a stiff fine from the NBA back in the mid 1980s, when the league slapped him with a $25 million penalty for moving the team from San Diego to Los Angeles. The Sterlings paid $6 million in the end.
If Donald Sterling continues his legal battle against the NBA, it’s likely to be a fight of “Sterling versus Sterling,” said a source familiar with the negotiations.
Ballmer has said little since the pending sale was announced. Through a representative, he declined a request for an interview on Monday.
The source said Ballmer offered a “wow factor” when negotiating with Shelly Sterling, ultimately beating out at least two other bidders.
“He put himself in a strong commanding position,” the source said. “He had a plan (for the team).”
The proposed sale comes after the NBA fined Donald Sterling $2.5 million, banned him for life from the league, and initiated a forced sale after a recording surfaced of the 80-year-old making remarks about African-Americans.
Shelly Sterling’s grandchildren were heckled at school after the Donald Sterling audiotape surfaced, Baumann said.
Believing Shelly Sterling will prevail in the sale, Baumann praised her friend’s handling of the deal. Shelly Sterling pushed for a quick resolution because “she didn’t want to tear the city apart, tear the fan base apart, and tear the Clippers apart,” Baumann said.
“She put this together and delivered it in a neat package to the NBA,” Baumann said.
Former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer agreed to buy the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion. The sale may have brought some relative clarity as the Clippers went through uncertainty in the past month amid embattled owner Donald Sterling making racially insensitive comments on an audio tape that earned him a life-time ban and a $2.5 million fine. Ballmer’s record-setting purchase may have skyrocketed the value of NBA franchises elsewhere.
But much work still needs to be done. The first step: the NBA revealed in a statement that it still must approve the sale. The league will also still have a meeting on June 3 in New York in which the Board of Governor’s will have to have a 3/4 vote to strip Sterling of his ownership.”
“Commissioner Silver has consistently said the preferred outcome to the Clippers proceeding would be a voluntary sale of the team,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass said in a statement. “Shelly Sterling advised the NBA last night that an agreement had been reached with Steve Ballmer, and the NBA Advisory/Finance Committee met via conference call this morning to discuss these developments. We await the submission of necessary documentation from Mrs. Sterling. In the meantime, the June 3 special meeting of the NBA Board of Governors remains as scheduled.”
The league vetted Ballmer last year during his unsuccessful attempt to buy the Sacramento Kings. But NBA officials have not returned repeated phone calls and e-mails for comment, including how much of a process this will take place.
Still, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said prior to the draft lottery last week that he would welcome Sterling selling the team before such a hearing in hopes that it would avoid both a lengthy and costly litigation case. Still, numerous league sources have said that process could happen only certain circumstances.
One, the Sterlings would have to sell entire team and have no interest stakes whatsoever. While Shelly Sterling has voiced approval about the NBA forcing a sale, she has maintained she is still entitled to her 50 percent ownership stake. The NBA will not approve such a scenario.
Two, the Sterlings would have to mutually agree on the sale. Though numerous publications, including the Los Angeles Newspaper Group, have indicated the agreement was co-signed both by Ballmer and Shelly Sterling, Donald Sterling’s lawyer, Maxwell Blecher, had indicated he will fight the sale. What complicates this issue is that Donald Sterling originally provided written consent on transferring ownership to Shelly with intentions to sell the team. ESPN has also reported experts have declared Donald Sterling mentally incapacitated, leaving Shelly Sterling as the sole trustee with the power to sell the team. The NBA will still want clarity on if Donald feels the same way.
There are likely more variables to weigh considering Ballmer’s involvement and evolving developments surrounding the Sterlings.
Below is a select Q&A with USC law & business professor Michael Chasalow surrounding Donald Sterling’s attempt to transfer Clippers’ ownership to his wife, Shelly:
On the latest development
Chasalow: The only thing I see significant with that is he is saying she has the authority to negotiate a sale on his half. He may still have a right to approve a sale in the end. The real idea is if there’s going to be a sale that he’s basically he won’t be involved with the process. If he’s involved in the process, there will be other concerns. So he’s saying he’ll take himself out of the process since he is clearly an inflammatory personality. That makes it more likely that the NBA will work with them on a voluntary sale. They want the team sold and to have a new owner in place.
What are the tax implications?
Chasalow:We don’t know all the circumstances. Just understanding how capital gains tax, if they bought the team for $12 million and it gets sold for more than a billion dollars, there’s going to be a huge tax bill. That’s going to happen with the sale of the team. Selling the team results in significant tax burden that might not happen if it’s stayed in a family trust and passed down to their children. It would at least be greatly reduced. If you assume the capital rains rate is 15-20 percent, you’re talking well over a hundred million dollars in tax.
What other legal implications could emerge from this this development?
Chasalow: The interesting question is what’s going to happen between now and June 3. Just because the Sterlings they’re willing to sell doesn’t mean the NBA will say, ‘Oh okay. Thank goodness. Now we’re not going to do anything else.’ The NBA announced it’s preceding with its meeting. The question is if before June 3, the NBA and the Sterlings can work out an arrangement that sets up a procedure for a voluntary sale so that the NBA puts off its process to force the Sterlings to sell. Or maybe they still have the meeting, but delay the implementation of a forced sale pending a voluntary sale. Or they could ignore it completely. But I think it’s in everybody’s best interest to have a voluntary sale. The NBA realizes that too so if there is a way to arrange that, they’re probably going to want that. But they will want a seat at the table. The NBA also gets to approve any sale.
After June 3, what do you envision the process being?
Chasalow: A good process would like an organized process through which interested buyers will submit bids. Then you will have a group of people, initially just the Sterlings and the NBA will be involved in looking over the bids and selecting a group of people to purchase the team and seeking approval once everybody has agreed upon the right purchaser. That’s if things go well. If things don’t go well, they may just wind up in litigation and the drama will keep unfolding.
Donald Sterling transfers ownership of Clippers to wife; Shelly Sterling to negotiate sale of team
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver urges Clippers owner Donald Sterling to sell team on own accord
New NBA Commissioner Adam Silver admired for handling of Donald Sterling controversy
USC law professor provides perspective on Donald Sterling transferring Clippers’ ownership to Shelly
Below is a select Q&A with USC law professor Jody Armour surrounding Donald Sterling’s attempt to transfer Clippers’ ownership to his wife, Shelly:
On the latest development
Armour: It’s a play for sympathy. Donald Sterling, himself, is a very unsympathetic character to many people, not just on the basis of his words that were recorded and broadcast, but also on the basis of his history that nobody did anything about for a very long time. Now everyone is reacting very self-righteously about his words and maybe even overreacting because of the lack of action. But at the end of the day, he is a very unsympathetic lightning rod. His wife, on the other hand, could say ‘I’m an innocent party here. He has been philandering on me and I am the victim.’ She’s arguing the NBA can’t use the sins of her husband against the wife. That seems unfair. It would make it more difficult from a public relations standpoint for the owners to take stern action against his wife rather against Sterling himself. But the concern seems the league wants to burnish its tarnished image to whatever extent is necessary irrespective of niceties, such as privacy and free speech.
What sense do you get that whether the NBA owners would accept Donald transferring ownership to Shelly?
Armour: Once we’re down the road of having public perception drive human behavior, substance won’t matter much at all. The perception is that if they vote against it, it will show the league is very serious about equality, non-discrimination by getting rid of anyone named Sterling. They will be cleaning house more thoroughly if they get rid of everyone associated with the Sterling name. That may happen from a public relations standpoint. But that might not stand from an individual justice and fairness standpoint.
NEW YORK –Three weeks after issuing owner Donald Sterling with a life-time ban for making racially disparaging comments, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver urged the embattled Clippers owner to sell the team on his own accord.
“He knows what the league’s point of view is,” Silver said Tuesday at a press conference at Best Buy Theatre in Times Square, which is hosting the NBA draft lottery. “I’m sure if he wanted to sell the team on some reasonable time table, I’d rather he sell it than go through this process.”
The NBA will hold a hearing on June 3 where the Board of Governors will hold a vote that requires a 3/4 majority to force Sterling to sell the team.
“I envision once we move through that process, we will then put the team in order, hire an investment banker and conduct an orderly process,” Silver said. “We have an obligation to the Sterlings to ensure we sell it for the highest possible price. There’s no doubt it’s a highly valuable asset.”
Sterling’s lawyer, Maxwell Blecher, asked in writing that he be given a three-month delay for the hearing, according to a league source familiar with the situation. A league source also added that if Sterling does not respond to the NBA’s charges by May 27, the NBA will have another grounds for termination.
Blecher has not offered any comment since the NBA announced the hearing on Monday.
“In terms of additional time, the answer has been no,” Silver said. “The proceedings and the process is set out in our constitution. That’s something they signed on for when they became owners in the league.
Clippers head coach was in a noticeably better mood on day after the controversial out-of-bounds play call in the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 13-point comeback win against the Clippers to take a 3-2 lead in the Western Conference semifinals.
Rivers took center stage with the media cameras and voice recorders surrounding him and his golf shirt as he held a piece of paper in his hand.
“I have a statement to make,” the first-year Clippers coach said with a smile, quickly tucking the paper into his pocket. Cue laughter.
Below are five things to take from the Clippers’ 101-99 Game 4 victory Sunday over the Oklahoma City Thunder at Staples Center (The series is tied 2-2 with Game 5 set for Tuesday in Oklahoma City. Game 6 will take place on Thursday at Staples Center).
1. Final moments Great comeback by the Clippers. Terrible choke job by the Thunder. The Clippers once trailed by as many as 19 points, shot 25 percent in the first quarter and made a playoff game appear like an ordinary regular season game in mid January.
But no matter.
The Clippers delivered with Darren Collison scoring 12 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter. Despite nursing five fouls, Blake Griffin scored 10 points of his team-high 25 points in the final period. Despite playing a team-high 45 minutes, Chris Paul posted 10 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter. The Clippers converted on 18 of their last 19 offensive possessions.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma City choked in every way imaginable.
Despite dropping a team-high 40 points on 12 of 24 shooting, Thunder forward Kevin Durant received half as many fourth-quarter attempts (five) as Russell Westbrook (10). Despite missing five consecutive shots, Westbrook kept looking for his shot. The Thunder allowed the Clippers then to dominate in points in the paint (24), fast-break points (12) and shooting (63.6 percent)
The blood poured out of Blake Griffin’s nose like a streaming river. His face looked battered and bruised as if a bouncer jumped him outside of a club.
Yet, Griffin was not whistled a foul as he went up against Oklahoma City forward Serge Ibaka for one inexplicable reason.
“I got hit, took an elbow to my nose,” Griffin said. “When I asked the [official] about it, he said I ran my face into his elbow. So I got to be careful where I put my face.”
Griffin delivered that line with the same deadpan and sarcastic expression that has made his Kia commercials pure comedy. But the explanation also taps into Griffin’s league-wide reputation as someone who collects Oscar nominations in both instigating confrontations and then showing pain.
But in this case, Griffin’s 34 points on 13 of 22 shooting marked a more aggressive approach in driving to the basket after spending the past two playoff games mostly shooting jumpers.
“I was just being aggressive, attacking early, facing up, trying to be the aggressive one,” Griffin said. “It doesn’t really mean much if you don’t get a win.”