5-at-10: Sterling decision, NBA playoffs, Kershaw is coming

5-at-10: Sterling decision, NBA playoffs, Kershaw is coming

April 29th, 2014 by Jay Greeson in Sports - Columns

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling sits courtside at the NBA basketball game between the New York Knicks and the Los Angeles Clippers in Los Angeles on Sunday. On Saturday, April 26, 2014, the NBA said it is investigating a report of an audio recording in which a man purported to be Sterling makes racist remarks while speaking to his girlfriend.

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling sits courtside...

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

Gang, let's get to this. Remember the mailbag.

From the "Talks too much" studios, hi ho Silver, away.

Sterling decision

Ball is in your court Adam Silver. Whatcha' you going to do?

Silver, the NBA commissioner for like the last 45 minutes, will make a statement and likely announce punishments and penalties for L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who has found himself in the harsh spotlight of being a bigoted jack wagon.

So we'll see how young Mr. Silver - any one else notice the irony of a Sterling-Silver link defining the next five years of the NBA - handles this mess and which side is more outraged.

We'd have no problem with the league forcing Donald the Doof to sell, but we do not see that happening. Too slippery a slope, as Dallas owner Mark Cuban says.

But the spin of having an elderly white owner not wanting his girlfriend to be seen with black people - including Magic Johnson - at games where black people are making Sterling millions will be interesting for sure.

So it goes, and so it shall be. Here's our view from this morning's TFP, and from there we shall sit back and observe.



Charlotte Bobcats' Kemba Walker (15) and Miami Heat's LeBron James (6) eye a loose ball during the first half in Game 1 of an opening-round NBA basketball playoff series on Sunday, April 20, 2014, in Miami.

Charlotte Bobcats' Kemba Walker (15) and Miami Heat's...

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

NBA playoffs

The Heat completed the sweep. The Spurs got back to even. And the Hawks have the Pacers on the brink

Let's spend a minute on each:

Miami followed the lead of LeBron James, who was outstanding in a 109-98 Game 4 win that completed the whitewash of Charlotte. James went for 31 points, nine assists and seven boards, and hit a series of tough, late-in-the-shot-clock shots in the second half. James scored 11 of his points in the fourth quarter, using an array of post moves and perimeter shots to end the series against the young-and-improving Bobcats. Side note: Kemba Walker can play. Miami has now won nine consecutive playoff series and is 12-1 in playoff series since James took his talents to South Beach.

The Spurs, the owners of the best record in the NBA, could easily have been swept in their first round series against Dallas, but last night Boris Diaw delivered a late 3 and Manu Ginolbi scored 23 points and San Antonio swiped a crucial Game 4 to even the series 2-2. Crazy stat No. 1: The Spurs have won their last 25 games on the road when leading after three quarters. Crazy stat No. 2: The Spurs bench scored 50 points Monday - 20 more than the Dallas bench and seven more than the San Antonio starters in the Spurs 93-89 victory.

And now for the Hawks. The HAWKS for crying out loud, are a game away from bouncing the East No. 1 seeds from Indiana. Atlanta pounced on the Pacers early - a 41-19 second quarter gave the Hawks a 61-40 lead at halftime - and it held on for a 107-97 win. Atlanta heads home with a 3-2 lead. Reserve power forward Mike Scott hit five 3s in the first half barrage and moved into consideration of the Mike Scott Rushmore that includes the boss on the Office, the former Astros ace, and the first CEO of Apple.

Tonight's schedule: Washington is up 3-1 and plays at Chicago tonight (TNT) at 8 p.m. Thunder-Grizzlies are even at 2-2 and play tonight (NBA TV) at 9 p.m. (Side question: How is that game on NBA TV? That's the best series going.) The Clippers return home for a Game 5 that will be marred and overshadowed by the Sterling soap opera. Clippers-Warriors are tied at 2 and will tip at 10:30 (TNT).


Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw watches from the dugout before a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday, April 19, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw watches...

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

Kershaw is coming

As was first reported as a possibility by TFP ace David Paschall, the Kershaw is coming, the Kershaw is coming. Here is the full story .

Maybe we should have a Rushmore of Claytons today on Press Row. Or maybe not.

That said, Kershaw pitching at AT&T is likely the biggest name to ever play there - at least at the time of his appearance. Sure, Miguel Cabrera played there and everyone who watched him believed him to be a star of the future. (He did win a triple crown after all.) But the same definitely could have been said of Mark Pryor during his appearance and even a Jeff Francoeur.

And there were some Hall of Fame stars such as Ken Griffey Jr. and Cal Ripken Jr. who played exhibition games here, but when they made their swings in the 423, they were easing toward Cooperstown. Kershaw is one of the three best pitchers in the game. Period.

So here we go. Get your tickets now.


This and that

- Butch Jones joined us on Press Row on Monday - here's the Q&A with the second-year Vols coach http://timesfreepress.com/news/2014/apr/29/jones-alabama-tennessee-rivalry-best-in-sec/- and said he believes UT-Alabama is the best rivalry in the SEC. What do you believe is the best rivalry in the SEC? We'll have to start with the Iron Bowl and go from there, right?

- Braves get back in action tonight as Alex Wood faces Jose Fernandez in a rematch of a spectacular pitcher's duel from last week. Each went eight innings. Each had double digit strikeouts. Neither allowed a walk. The Marlins won 1-0, which hardly shocks anyone considering Wood is 2-3 on the season with an ERA of 1.35.

- Man, that Carlos Gomez is a polarizing figure. He's either inciting bench-clearing brawls or making fans cry in appreciation. Here's the latter http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/carlos-gomez-gives-2-hugs-to-adoring-fan-181744777.html?vp=1.

- Missouri hired Kim Anderson to be the Tigers hoops coach. Yeah, we'd never heard of him either.


Today's question(s)

What should happen with Donald Sterling? What will happen with Donald Sterling?

Or better yet, how about a Rushmore of Silver?

And finally, who's up for a Derby contest - first-in, last-in type of thing - and the winner could get some left over Masters swag? Thoughts?

Go time.