Clippers' Blake Griffin on Donald Sterling: 'Didn't care if we won'
Blake Griffin said former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling didn’t care if the team won and didn’t care about the players. Griffin published his views as a senior editor on Deter Jeter’s website, The Players' Tribune, on Thursday.
Sterling lost ownership of the team after he was heard on a recording making racial statements. The NBA banned him for life and fined him $2.5 million.
Griffin writes that the first time he Googled Sterling’s name, the search came up as “Donald Sterling is a racist." Griffin said the same thing during an interview with GQ this month.
In the post, Griffin recalls the first time he met Sterling and how he ridiculed former NBA guard Baron Davis on the free throw line by saying, "Why are you letting him shoot the free throw? He’s awful! He’s terrible! He’s the worst free throw shooter ever!”
“If you’re wondering how a known racist can own an NBA team without anyone batting an eye, first ask yourself how the owner of an NBA team can scream at his team’s best player in front of thousands of people and hundreds of cameras without anyone even caring,” Griffin writes on The Players' Tribune.
Former Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer eventually bought the team for $2 billion after a probate court authorized Sterling's wife, Shelly, to sell the team. The $2 billion price tag for the franchise was the highest price ever paid for a professional basketball team.
Griffin said he loves Ballmer's enthusiasm and that the players loved his antics at a recent pep rally for the team, where Ballmer was shown jumping up and down and giving the players chest bumps.
“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,” Griffin said. “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.”
Griffin averaged a career-high 24.1 points for the Clippers last season, to go along with 9.5 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 80 games.
The Clippers start the regular season at home on Oct. 30 against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
- Scooby Axson