Blake Griffin speaks on life under Donald Sterling in blog post


As editor of, I made a mental promise to myself that we’d back off the Donald Sterling-related posts in the Steve Ballmer era. Well, today is the day I renege on that promise.

For good reason though. As senior editor — let me repeat, SENIOR EDITOR — of Derek Jeter’s online publication “The Player Tribune”, Clippers star Blake Griffin finally gave the low-down on how real-life experiences during his tenure under former Clippers owner Donald Sterling — Griffin also spoke on new Clippers owner Steve Ballmer.

Some stories we’ve heard, others we haven’t, but the provided perspective brings new meaning to what players were forced to endure. Here are some excerpts from Griffin’s blog post (to view the entire post, click here):

On first meeting Donald Sterling

"Donald Sterling literally introduced me to everyone. Here’s how he did it, every single time, to every single group of people, while holding on to my hand:“Everyone, have you met our newest star? This is Blake! He was the number one pick in the entire NBA draft. Number one! Blake, where are you from?”"

On finding out Sterling was racist

"When I knew the Clippers were drafting me, the first thing I did was type Donald Sterling’s name into Google. The first hit that came up was “Donald Sterling is a racist.” I read an article on how he didn’t want minorities to live in his apartment buildings. My first thought was, Wow this guy is really, really a racist … how is he an owner of an NBA team?My second thought was, Wow, these articles are from 2003 and 2008. I guess everybody already knows about this stuff and just doesn’t care."

On the Sterling – Baron Davis free-throw incident

"As Baron is lining up, Sterling started flapping his arms and yelled to no one in particular, “Why are you letting him shoot the free throw? He’s awful! He’s terrible! He’s the worst free throw shooter ever!”Baron had been shooting like 87 percent that season. He was by far our best free throw shooter on the floor.I was standing at half court, right next to Sterling’s seats, watching this out of the corner of my eye, trying not to laugh. I looked at the guys on the other team, like, I cannot believe this is happening right now."

On hearing the infamous Sterling tapes

"That’s why I was conflicted when the tapes came out last season, and suddenly everyone had an opinion on what we as players should be doing to handle it. When I woke up the morning after the tape leaked, I had 40 or 50 text messages. The first thing I did was listen to the tape in bed. It was shocking to actually hear what he said, but not really that surprising to me."

On new team owner Steve Ballmer

"All the players thought it was awesome. Personally, I love that kind of crazy. Ballmer wants to win no matter the cost. Donald Sterling didn’t care if we won — at least if it meant he had to spend money. It wasn’t just about spending money on players. For years, our training staff wanted to buy this sophisticated computer software that would let them scan our bodies and keep track of our progress throughout the season. Sterling wouldn’t sign off on it."

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