Donald Sterling has been a problem for the NBA for almost the entirety of his ownership for the last 30 years. It is a shame that the NBA has largely turned a blind eye, or at least tolerated, his racist ... vile behavior for all these years. There is simply no reason for it, and the blame lays squarely on the backs of NBA owners and former Commissioner David Stern.
Stern, and his history for "vetting" proper owners is sketchy at best. We even look to Nuggets history for one egregious example. In 1989 Peter Bynoe, Bertram Lee and other investors were "encouraged" to buy the Nuggets by then Commissioner Stern from Sidney Schlenker. This was because the NBA would be the first to have minority ownership in the four major professional sports leagues.
There was one problem. Stern didn't make sure that the ownership group could afford to buy the Nuggets. It took 8 months for the sale to be finalized, with COMSAT taking over majority ownership. While Stern had good intentions, his rush to be "first" let to 10 years of ownership hell for the Nuggets.
More blame needs to be placed on Stern, and quite frankly NBA owners for turning a blind eye to Sterling, who has behaved this way for the entirety of his ownership tenure. THIS IS NOT NEW! The man has been reprehensible forever. This is a KNOWN thing. Yet the NBA chose to hope that the old man would pass away and things would be taken care of naturally.
I don't place any blame on Adam Silver. He has been put in an untenable position by Stern and the owners. Cleaning up a mess that should have been taken care of long ago. It's not fair to Silver and it's not fair to the players on the Clippers who are now forced to deal with the media scrutiny of their owner. Something they have absolutely NOTHING to do with.
The Players Union is watching this closely, you can guarantee that. The Union has complained about Sterling for years and years. Heck, Sterling even heckled his own player, Baron Davis, DURING games. If the NBA and it's owners don't come down hard on the Clippers owner ... then I'm worried about the potential powder keg this could set off.
These NBA playoffs have been amazing to watch. Best in years. It's a shame that a known problem is obscuring that fact right now. Remember to always cheer for the players on the court, and ... today I'm a little partial to the players on the Clips (which I never have been before). No one should have to go through this no matter what point of view you have.
The NBA's greatest moments are being tarnished by one of it's biggest failures.