Report: Players Refuse to Play for Clippers Under Sterling


Apr 29, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Clyde Davis, of Long Beach, at a demonstration in front of Staples Center demanding the sale of the team. The NBA handed down a lifetime ban on Clipper owner Donald Sterling after it was confirmed that he made racist statements capture on a recording by his girlfriend. The Clippers and Warrior play game five of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

If you were unsure how much Donald Sterling’s racist comments could impact the Los Angeles Clippers from a performance standpoint, here’s some insight from an NBA agent on how things could go free agency if the NBA refuses to handle Sterling the proper way:

"“You have to appreciate all that the NBA has done in this situation, what Adam Silver and the other owners are trying to do,” one prominent agent said, requesting anonymity because of possible future interactions with the team. “They came down hard on the guy, as they should have.“But I know I have players who just won’t go there now, not until Sterling is gone completely. If there is even a chance that you’re going to help that guy make even one dime, a lot of guys are not going to go play there. It is going to be something they will have to deal with when July comes around.”via Agents on Donald Sterling’s Clippers: Some players ‘just won’t go there now’ | The Sporting News"

When the Sterling allegations were first revealed this was a thought that surfaced, but had little weight as it was just speculation. Then through social networking, mainly twitter, and pre-game interviews as team were still competing in the playoffs, players openly expressed how enthused they’d be to play for the Clippers as long as Donald Sterling was the owner. They were opposed to it.

The NBA has permanently banned Donald Sterling from the NBA. They’re working to remove his wife’s share of the team, so the Sterling name is gone completely. They’re working to find new ownership, hopefully by next season. These thoughts seem to be catered toward the Clippers team prior to Adam Silver announcing Sterling’s verdict. If it was in his jurisdiction, Silver would’ve likely had Sterling wiped away form the NBA, only riding relevance in interviews. But Silver can’t and free agent players, at least those who choose to want to play with Doc Rivers, Chris Paul, and Blake Griffin, have to realize.

With the NBA Playoffs still in play, July is a long ways from now. Much could change between now and free agent moratorium.