10 Updates

Donald Sterling Lost By The Rules Of His Own Game

Apr 29 2014, 4:17pm CDT | by

Strip away the context and what the NBA did to Donald Sterling on Tuesday seems unfair. Sterling said some horrible things to his girlfriend in a private conversation. She taped it. It wound up on...

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12 weeks ago

Donald Sterling Lost By The Rules Of His Own Game

Apr 29 2014, 4:17pm CDT | by

Strip away the context and what the NBA did to Donald Sterling on Tuesday seems unfair. Sterling said some horrible things to his girlfriend in a private conversation. She taped it. It wound up on TMZ and Deadspin. And now NBA commissioner Adam Silver has banned Sterling for life , and other owners will probably force him to sell the team. That seems like a huge overreaction. If you could lose a team for saying horrible things in a private conversation, there might be only six people in America who could own an NBA team, all nuns.

But there is a steaming heap of context to what the NBA did, and Donald Sterling is standing in it.

The NBA’s punishment is for Sterling’s words and deeds. But there’s a huge amount of evidence that Sterling punished people simply for who they are. In 2009, he paid a $2.7 million settlement — the largest one of its kind — in a case that charged Sterling with trying to keep black residents and families with children out of apartment buildings he owned in Los Angeles. That followed a similar case in 2005 where the settlement was confidential, but the payout was even higher — $4.9 million in legal fees alone.

(A reporter rightly asked about Sterling’s history at Silver’s press conference. Silver replied that the NBA did nothing to Sterling after those cases because he wasn’t officially found in the wrong. Which goes to show that it pays to settle.)

But the bigger context, to me, is how Sterling benefited all these years from the way the NBA works. NBA owners — and the owners in most pro sports leagues — have advantages other CEOs can only dream of. They have no real competition in the U.S. when it comes to professional basketball. They’ve divided up their territory geographically. They have this beautiful labor-restricting thing called the college draft, where teams take turns picking the best college players and the players have no say in the matter. And they have trades. Trades! You can take one or two of your people and send them to another team for one or two of theirs. This would be laughed out of any court in the country, except in sports, where we pretend as if there’s no other way it could happen .

All that creates a system where Donald Sterling, who by most accounts is terrible as a team owner as well as a human being, can buy the Clippers for $12 million in 1981 and have it be worth at least $575 million now .

It’s an exclusive club. But one of the problems with an exclusive club is that it tends to exclude. And now that Sterling has embarrassed the NBA, most of the other owners will line up to get rid of him. From what Silver said Tuesday, three-quarters of the other owners would have to agree to force Sterling to sell. And based on the confidence in Silver’s voice, he has already lined up the votes.

This whole sad story is full of contradictions. The man who doesn’t seem to like black people owns a team in a league dominated by black players. (I have a couple of theories on that .) The owner who finally has a good team, after years of awful ones, has sabotaged his team’s best shot at the title. We’re talking about race and mistresses and lawsuits in the midst of the best first round the NBA playoffs has ever had.

In one sense, this all happened so fast — from a TMZ post Saturday morning to Adam Silver laying down the law Tuesday afternoon. But Sterling built the case against himself. He used his power against the weak, and now the power is aligned against him. He had all the advantages of being in the club, and now the club will turn its back. He spent wrenching the karma wheel in his direction. Once he let go, it spun all the way back. For once, you can say this in a case involving Donald Sterling: That seems fair.

 
Update
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7 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the Dewan ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
9

7 weeks ago

Gold shop lost almost RM1mil

Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was broken in ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
8

7 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected by the Dewan Rakyat today ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
7

7 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
6

7 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selatan’ in the southern stat ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
5

7 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2.78 million in compensation ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

7 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Minis ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
3

7 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involving an al ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
2

7 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
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1

7 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billion Kinrara Damansara Skyway ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

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