The tapes just keep coming. It's been nearly two weeks since NBA commissioner Adam Silver handed Clippers owner Donald Sterling a lifetime ban for his racist remarks recorded on tape. On Thursday, a new recording came to light, one in which Sterling reportedly denies being a racist and attempts to add clarity to his controversial remarks.
But with a new day, brings a new tape from Radar Online. In the latest recorded conversation of Sterling's, the much-maligned Clippers owner provides an interesting excuse for his well-documented comments. Radar Online reveals the details:
"The girl is black. I like her. I'm jealous that she's with other black guys. I want her. So what the hell, can't I in private tell her, you know, 'I don't want you to be with anybody'?" the man purported to be Sterling says in the new tape, according to RadarOnline.
"I'm trying to have sex with her. I'm trying to play with her," the man also says. "You know, if you (are trying) to have sex with a girl and you're talking with her privately, you don't think anybody's there. You may say anything in the world. What difference does it make?
It is important to note that these comments have not yet been verified, but this situation continues to become more peculiar by the day. Excuses for his previously recorded behavior are virtually moot at this stage, as they will likely have no standing during an incoming legal battle, but a deeper dive into the mind of the 81-year-old reveals an entangled web of thought process.
"I know I'm wrong, what I said was wrong," Sterling is heard saying on the tape released Thursday. "But I never thought a private conversation would go anywhere out to the public. I didn't want her to bring anybody to my game because I was jealous. I mean, I'm being honest."
These new tapes have been released why the NBA scrambles to find the Clippers new leaders. On Friday, NBA.com's David Aldridge reported the NBA had appointed Richard Parsons, previously of Time Warner, as the team's new CEO. This comes in the wake of team president Andy Roeser taking an indefinite leave of absence earlier this week.
On Wednesday, Sterling’s wife, Shelly, said that despite her husband’s lifetime ban, she has no plans to sell the Clippers and doesn’t believe the NBA’s sanctions apply to “me or my family.”
“I have been co-owner since 1981,” Shelly Sterling said in a prepared statement. “During those 33 years, I have been a diehard fan even when the team was in the basement of the league. Now that all of our hard work is paying off, I want to celebrate the success that we are finally achieving.”
If Sterling or his wife is able to maintain ownership of the team, it could save her husband hundreds of millions of dollars. As McCann reported on Wednesday, Sterling faces hundreds of millions of dollars in capital gain taxes should he be forced to sell the Clippers. While there are a few bylaws that Sterling could attempt to use to avoid the taxes, it’s unlikely a ruling would come down in his favor.
Keep in mind that, as (accountant Robert) Raiola was first to note in an earlier SI.com article, if Sterling dies while owning the team, he would not have to pay capital gain taxes on the Clippers. Instead, his heirs would take Sterling’s interest in the team and not be subject to capital gain taxes in that transfer. While they may be subject to estate taxes, the heirs would only pay capital gain taxes if they sell Sterling’s interest in the team. Crucially, the gain would be the difference between the value of the team when they inherited it (perhaps $1 billion) and the value of it when sold, rather than the much larger difference between the value of the team when Sterling purchased it ($12.5 million) and the value of it when sold. Tax consequences are among many reasons why Sterling is incentivized to fight the NBA in court.
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