I'm not sure I have ever posted about the NBA before, except maybe in passing reference during a Summer Olympics. But the last few days there has been a great stink about an audio recording supposedly from Stirling, the billionaire owner of the Los Angeles Clippers -- real racist stuff asking his girlfriend not to be seen in public with black men, especially basketball players. I thought I heard a line about if he had to explain why then she was stupid and didn't understand the problem.
The NBA is, of course, full of black basketball players. And even if it wasn't, there just isn't room for this kind of behavior. And it's like the playoffs. Irony is a bitch, ain't it? As in, how stupid do you have to be?
Yesterday the news reports were all abuzz about how powerless the new NBA commissioner Silver was. That the NBA owners were like a club -- the commissioner worked for the owners. That maybe there was a morals clause. That maybe there would be a fine, perhaps half a million to a million dollars.
Last night the Clippers wore their warm-ups inside out, so the logo wouldn't show. The union was wondering that if the penalty wasn't real enough, that the players might not show up.
So I was stunned in the middle of the day to turn on the TV and scan some channels and see that Silver banned Stirling from the NBA for life. And fined $2½ million. Wow. The new NBA commish has balls AND stood there as a professional.
I am surprised, and delighted, that the action was swift and severe. A clearer message of support to the players, the fans and the legacy of the league could not be sent.
A lifetime ban.
This is not to say that things are perfect in America. But this is 2014. Can you imagine this happening in 1974? 1954?
This Stirling was tarnished beyond belief. Good riddance to bad rubbish.
But we'll see how this unfolds in the days and weeks to come.