Former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was banned for life from the NBA and fined $2.5 million following an investigation into alleged racist comments he made over the phone to his ex-girlfriend, V. Stiviano. Sterling was caught on tape chastising Stiviano for “associating with black people” in public and through social media.
It appears he wasn’t too fond of people who looked like him as well.
Speaking on Monday with TNT’s Ernie Johnson — Clippers head coach Doc Rivers revealed that Sterling attempted to stop the team from acquiring JJ Redick in 2013 because he did not like white players.
“JJ changed his mind, I think he was going to sign with Minnesota,” Rivers recalled. “I literally talked JJ out of it. ‘Come play with me, come play with the Clippers, with Chris Paul and DJ [DeAndre Jordan] and Blake [Griffin]. You’d be a great fit. The trade’s done, or the free agent signing is done, JJ agrees, I jump on a plane, I fly back to Orlando, and I get a call from [then-Clippers president] Andy Roeser. [He] says, ‘Hey the deal’s off.’ I say, ‘What do you mean the deal’s off?’ ‘Donald doesn’t like white players.’ And I said, ‘Excuse me?’ ‘Donald Sterling said no.’ I said, ‘Well we’ve already agreed!’
“So I land, I’m in the garage of the Orlando airport,” Rivers added. “I get a call from Coach K [Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski], who’s upset because of JJ. I get a call from JJ’s agent, I think it was Arn Tellem, who’s screaming at me.”
Rivers said he called Sterling and had a heated conversation with him that led to him hanging up after he saying he was quitting as head coach of the team. It was only then Sterling backtracked and changed his mind on bringing Redick in.
Redick ultimately became a massive acquisition for the team with his shot-making ability and floor spacing.
Sterling being banned in 2014 opened the door for current owner Steve Ballmer to buy the Clippers.
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