LOS ANGELES — When the Los Angeles Clippers are old and gray and the time comes to tell their children about the time their basketball world was turned upside down, no two stories will be the same. Each has his own vantage point. Each has his own emotions. Each has his own response.
But the story about J.J. Redick and his surreal first season with the Clippers captures the Donald Sterling experience as well as anyone’s. At 29 years old and having made the calculated choice as a free agent last summer to come play for coach Doc Rivers and this talented team, Redick was exposed to the Sterling dysfunction from the start when his sign-and-trade deal to come to Los Angeles nearly fell apart after his four-year, $27-million deal had been agreed upon.
One of the alleged reasons? Sterling, the man whose racist comments sparked this whole furor, was believed to have had concerns about paying a white player that kind of money. He had once given white center Chris Kaman a five-year, $52 million deal, and how that contract panned out (or didn’t, as Kaman played 195 games in the next four years of that deal and was traded to New Orleans with a year and a half left) appeared to be coloring Sterling’s judgment on this deal. In a way, it was a mirror-image of the issue that would be front and center 10 months later.
“I’ve been told both ways: one, that he didn’t want to pay me because I was white, and that he didn’t want to pay me because I was a bench player,” Redick said. “I didn’t know (the deal almost fell apart) until after the fact. I just got a weird phone call from Doc on July 4, and I got off the phone and said to my wife, ‘Something’s going on.’ He’s like, ‘You better play for me (expletive).’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s the plan. We figured this out two days ago, right?’ “And then he just rambled a bit. … but he never really got into the nuts and bolts of what was happening. And then I got a call about 48 hours later from my agent, and he said, ‘We wanted to keep you out of it, but here’s what happened.'”
First of all, have to love JJ Redick trying to be a victim of racism here too. White boy who went to Duke just trying to fit in with his teammates. See guys! I know what it’s like, I was totally judged by my race. Whatever JJ, you’re a millionaire white dude, literally no one in this world feels bad for you.
Second, and the most important part of this story. I can’t tell if this hurts or helps Donald Sterling’s case. On one hand he’s probably the most confused racist of all time. Has a half black half mexican girlfriend, hates black people. Doesn’t want his girlfriend going to games with black guys but is cool with her fucking a black guy with AIDS. Can’t stand minorities, owns an NBA team. It’s nuts. And this is just more of it. You would think Donald Sterling would want more JJ Redicks on his team. Basically trot out Wisconsin’s starting 5. But no, he fucking hates white basketball players too. So really this whole story helps Donald Sterling more than anything, because you can’t be racist if you are prejudiced towards everyone equally. That’s just common sense. If you treat everyone like shit based on the color of their skin that makes you an asshole not a bigot. Some people judge others on loyalty or intelligence, Donald Sterling goes 100% off race, that’s not racism, that’s just being consistent. Give him his NBA team back please.