The Donald Sterling racist tape has opened up the flood gates in regards to comments on the matter. What should the league do? What should the Clippers players do? Will Sterling be fined? Can he be suspended? Etc. Etc. This time, TNT’s “Inside the NBA” crew got a chance to speak on the matter.
When there’s a huge matter going on in regards to the NBA, Shaquille O’Neal, Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, and Charles Barkley are never afraid to share their opinion on the matter. And when it comes to Sterling’s racist being open to the public thanks to audio, they let the wolves out.
“An unfortunate situation, but I think the league should take a very long, hard look at whether this guy should continue being an owner or not,” said Shaquille O’Neal on Sterling. Oddly enough, Shaq gave few comments on the matter, unlike his usual self as he seemingly not wanting to step a line. O’Neal being a minority owner for the Sacramento Kings could be the reasoning behind his quick comments.
Luckily for the viewers, the other three co-hosts don’t have that same issue.
“First of all you can believe it. This has happened before,” as Chuck alluded to Sterling’s racist past which includes enough footnotes to take up an entire page of paper. “This is the first test of Adam Silver. He’s got to suspend him right now.”
Looking back on the NBA’s history, the only NBA owner to be suspended in recent memory was Minnesota Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor back in 2000 for violating salary cap rules when attempting to sign forward Joe Smith to an illegal deal. Along with a suspension, the league also fined the team $3.5 million and stripped them of five first-round draft picks. Unlike creating deals under the table as Taylor did with Joe Smith, racism isn’t illegal, just looked down upon, so it’ll be interesting to see what measures Adam Silver and company take when they proceed to take action.
Kenny Smith agreed with a suspension for Sterling, wondering if his actions could lose the team support throughout the nation.
“Yes, he has to be suspended. Magic Johnson came out and tweeted, saying he’d never go to another Clipper game. I can totally understand that. And I can understand people wouldn’t support the Clippers at this point because [Sterling] is the voice and he’s taking ownership of a team a little bit too serious.”
Chuck would go on to defend the Clippers players, speaking from their expected perspective as people, like Kenny, have begun to correlate the players and Sterling on the matter.
“This is a Donald Sterling thing. This is not a Clipper thing. We’ve got to separate the two because listen, Doc Rivers, Blake, Chris Paul, that’s their team. [Sterling] owns the team, but we’re not thinking about who owns the team as a player. We don’t care who owns the team.”
Ernie Johnson ended the segment with a simple statement, saying what we’ve all thought since the latest incident of racism from Donald Sterling surfaced.
“If it’s true and it’s him, there’s no place in the league for Donald Sterling in my mind.