A little off topic this morning because I think the readers deserve a spot to discuss last night’s Donald Sterling interview with Anderson Cooper. As someone who covered the Clippers nearly 20 years ago, last night showed why team officials always did everything they could to prevent Sterling from dealing with the media.
Most employees I knew were embarrassed to work for Sterling . . . and that was before the racist stories emerged. His basketball behavior was weird enough. There was the famous story that he canceled an agreed trade sending Danny Manning to the Miami Heat for Glen Rice because he awoke from a dream that Manning led the Clippers to the NBA championship.
And the fact you were instructed to call him Mr. Sterling or DTS (his initials) but never Don or Donald. Eventually, I did have some conversations with Sterling and a throwaway remark on CNN brought back my memories of him. “I’m deciding if I like you,” he told Cooper last night.
When I spoke to Sterling, questions were ignored and his answers always veered back to, “aren’t you my friend?” or “why aren’t you nice to me?” Everything revolved around him. Everyone needed to validate him. Or approve of him. This was in the mid-90’s, way before the lawsuits from his tenants.
Back then, the awful quality newspaper ads where he congratulated himself were about as demeaning as it got, aside from the Clippers record.
Now he is proving to be far worse than a basketball buffoon. His interview with Cooper was more damaging than his audio tapes. A full transcript is here. If you saw the interview, what did you think? Does he have thousands of defenders as he claimed? And what will the Clipper players do if he (and his wife) still own the team? Feel free to discuss.