How does “The Seattle Clippers” Sound?

By on May 30, 2014
ballmer silverThe guys playing for the LA Clippers should start buying warmer clothes and looking at homes in Seattle now because if this sale goes through, former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer (left, with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver) will only need the approval of the NBA and the other owners to eventually move the team to Seattle.  Based on the NBA’s (over)reaction to Sterling’s now infamous recorded and leaked bigoted comments, it’s my guess the move will be unanimously supported because it would symbolically wash the entire slate clean of an overblown mess.  It won’t hurt that LA will still have an (historically better) NBA team.  When the dust settles, the Clippers (or whatever they’ll be called after the move) will have benefited from publicity money could never buy.  I can’t think of any professional sports team that has ever been introduced to a city in such a high profile way.*
KJ sunsBallmer has already gone through much of the process of buying an NBA team since he was part of the 2013 effort to buy the Sacramento Kings and move them to Seattle.  What’s coincidental is that the person most responsible for keeping the Kings in Sacramento is also one of the main voices who called for the ouster of Sterling after his leaked private conversation; current Sacramento mayor and former NBA player Kevin Johnson (right, who I cheered for when I lived in Scottsdale and the Suns made the 1993 NBA Finals, losing in six games to the Bulls), whose own past is dubious.  Look at this article to see what I mean:
I guess when you have as much money as Sterling, the amount isn’t that significant but there’s no way the Clippers – which Sterling paid $12.5 million for in 1981 – would be worth $2 billion under normal circumstances.  This is a team few people outside LA even thought of before this happened.  The Clippers have never won an NBA championship or even made it to the Western Conference finals.  To imagine that the Sterlings would make out like bandits on the sale and that the team may well end up in Seattle all because a private personal conversation was recorded and leaked is something you couldn’t make up.
Mark CubanOn the subject of Sterling, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban (left) should be commended for trying to bring perspective to the issue and to give Sterling’s comments context.  He wasn’t defending Sterling as much as he was trying to infuse reason and diffuse outrage.  He just made a poor choice of words by saying, “If I see a black kid in a hoodie and it’s late at night, I’m walking to the other side of the street.”  He subconsciously and unwittingly conjured up the image of Trayvon Martin, whose death circumstances and unjust trial verdict are still very sore subjects with many people of all racial backgrounds.  Still, any sensible person understood Cuban’s point.
All we have to do now is find that sensible person to explain to the rest of us why all of this makes sense.
May 30, 2014
* An exception may be when Al Davis moved the Oakland Raiders to Los Angeles in 1982 then back to Oakland in 1995.  I personally resented the moves because I was a Raiders fan and moved from the Bay Area to LA in 1995, just in time to see them leave.
I know I said I didn’t want to hear about the Sterling story until it was completely resolved but sports have always been a part of my life and this progression of events is unprecedented.
I just came across this unique take on racial discrimination, where a white police officer was passed over for promotion by a less-qualified Hispanic:
I have to comment on this:
President Obama just accepted Eric Shinski’s resignation as head of the VA.  Anyone familiar with VA hospitals can’t be surprised to hear that they are less than well-run and less than corruption-free.  Shinseki stated that he made the mistake of trusting the VA officials who falsified patient wait times for the purposes of obtaining their bonuses.  I don’t think that’s unreasonable, however detached from reality.  Shinseki’s resignation isn’t much of a consolation to the families of the veterans who died while waiting for health care that never came or came too late.  Unless Sinsheki was given information about the falsified information and did nothing about it, I’m not even sure he should have resigned.  I think charges should be brought upon every VA official who reported the false patient wait times since lives and people’s health were on the line.   The issue is two-fold:  the falsified records (the result of corruption and greed) and the poor-to-nonexistent health care that fails ailing veterans (not enough personnel).  You have to wonder how many complaints by patients and their families (and possibly VA employees) never got to the people who needed to see them.   The good thing about the the exposed corruption is the President and Congress have now made the long-overdue systemic overhauls of the VA hospital system a priority.  What’s yet to see is how much it will cost.

About Dan Walker

As part of an Air Force family, I went to elementary school in Great Falls, MT, junior high in Cheyenne, WY and high school and college in the San Francisco Bay Area, graduating from San Francisco State University with a degree in business. I was fortunate to have worked for great companies in Silicon Valley (Oracle Corp) and Hollywood (Miramax Films). I also lived and worked (primarily in financial services, which has no great companies) for eight years in Manhattan, New York City. I now reside in New York's beautiful Hudson Valley.

One comment on “How does “The Seattle Clippers” Sound?

  1. Jeremy Walker on said:

    Another good reading!

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