Almost a month in, the Donald Sterling saga continues to dominate the sports headlines. The most recent developments have Sterling asking for forgiveness in a CNN interview with Anderson Cooper, while his wife Shelly continues to insist she will fight for her 50% stake in the team, regardless of what the NBA says.
One thing that seems to be a lock is the Sterling’s dragging this process out as long as they possibly can. According to Sporting News, this could lead to the Clippers not only losing their sponsors, but any shot at potential free agents.
“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.” said one prominent agent.
“I don’t think the whole thing winds up with Sterling back in charge, that is just hard to imagine,” another agent told SN. “There’s the chance, though. There’s a chance you wind up working for Sterling. That’s the problem.”
“I can tell you that there are players who will cross them off the list before free agency even starts,” the first agent said. “This was really personal for some guys, and I mean guys who are not Clippers or never been Clippers. It’s just hard and not everyone is going to want to walk into that situation. The damage has been done.”
While time heals all eventually, there are some very real consequences the Clippers could be facing as long as the Sterlings insist on staying attached to the team. Unfortunately for the Clippers and their fans, it seems that the Sterlings are willing to torpedo the franchise to try and keep ownership.
The sooner the NBA can get rid of them as owners, the better off the organization and league will be as a whole.