5-at-10: Sterling speaks, LeBron answers, Twitter experiment and Rushmore of Howards

5-at-10: Sterling speaks, LeBron answers, Twitter experiment and Rushmore of Howards

May 13th, 2014 by Jay Greeson in Sports - Columns

Let's get to the get to.

From the "Talks too much" studios, whomever is Sterling's lawyer, here's an idea: Why don't you stop talking for a while Champ.

Sterling

Guys, great back and forth Monday about the Donald Sterling situation. Interesting stuff and that type of exchanging of ideas is excellent.

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald T. Sterling, right, sits with his wife, Rochelle, during a Clippers NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons in Los Angeles in this 2010 file photo.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

Sterling's interview with Anderson Cooper was far from excellent, however. It was a verbal car wreck that you wanted to switch the channel but could not look away.

Sterling did not seem humbled by any of this, more embarrassed and a little irritated that he had to even address the situation.

Sterling did not come off very apologetic, spending more time launching insults and morality questions at Magic Johnson than addressing his situation. And while we look forward to Stewwie's post on this - seriously - Sterling's insane belief that he is not a racist because he pays black players millions of dollars so he can make tens of millions is mind-boggling. In fact, Sterling's rants were accurately described by Spike Lee as those of a plantation owner. (And this is not from a Spike Lee fan, and considering he's made a chunk of his fortune by exploiting racism in this country, the fact that Sterling has made Spike a rational voice in the race debate is staggering and speaks to Sterling's lack of merit.)

We welcome the debate - and it could be a lengthy one, not unlike the court battle that will follow.

And to answer some of the back and forth from Monday, we still believe the NBA can force Sterling out, and as for his quote about the laws of the country's constitution should overrule the rules of the league, well, not really. Not when it comes to the day-to-day operations and happenings in the specific business world that can and should be able to lift a level of expectation and propriety beyond the laws of the land..

We've used the Chick-Fil-A analogy before, and it still works. Or if you were at your job and decided to open a beer for example. If you are of legal age, opening a beer is hardly against the law but you likely would lose your job.

And that's what has happened to Sterling. He has lost his job as owner of the Clippers. And while some of you just threw your hands up in the air and said, "How do you lose your job owning something?"

Well, it's because as much as anyone, NBA owners all work under the logo. The league is the brand and the owners own and operate the 30 stores. And if we have read the NBA bylaws correctly, if the brand believes you are damaging the overall business because of unethical conduct or immoral positions, as dictated in the contract Sterling signed to own the club and in the league's bylaws, then any one can be forced out.

Is it over the top? That's debatable. But can the NBA do it? We believe so, but something tells us there will be several court verdicts along the way.

And what happens in the interim, in the lengthy and drawn out process where we get from today to legal resolution?

The Clippers players have made it clear they do not want to play for Sterling. That's understandable. Would the league void their contracts and let them be free agents? That's seems unlikely, but possible. What if Chris Paul and Blake Griffin were forced to stay and decided to give half effort until they were released? The Clippers tank the season in protest, a stink-in if you will, to the point that they could be 0-82.

Who knows where this is heading - other than court that is. But we do know this, every time Donald Sterling opens his mouth, the deeper he steps into this mess.

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LeBron James

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

Any questions

Facing a tough Game 4 on the road that could either give his Heat a commanding 3-1 lead or make this a super-tight series, LeBron James went off.

The best player on the planet dropped 49 on the Nets in a 102-96 win that pushed Miami to a win from the Eastern Conference finals.

Dude was awesome in his awesomeness, needing only 24 shots to match his career-playoff high in points. He got to the rim routinely and refused to let the moment get away form him.

As impressive as his scoring total was, two of the game's defining moments did not include James making buckets. There was his drive-and-dish after the entire borough of Brooklyn collapsed in the paint that led to a Chris Bosh 3 that gave the Heat the lead for good. Defensively, as the Nets tried to get back to even in the final minutes, James blanketed Joe Johnson.

It was impressive. And needed.

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Sam he is

Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014.

Photo by Associated Press/Times Free Press.

The Michael Sam fall-out has been tiring. Whatever.

(That said, bad form on ESPN to show his smooch with his boyfriend as a 'highlight' over and over. We got it.)

We will ask this, however:

What's your view on the Marshall Henderson story line in this thing? Henderson, the former Ole Miss basketball star, threw out a couple of over-the-top Tweets about Sam, including this one:

"Boycotting sportscenter til this michael sam nasty [expletive, expletive] is off .... My brothers are 7 and 11 and saw that!!! #SICKENING"

The fall-out was immediate and harsh and clear. (Of course, no matter how you feel, the interweb morality police will nuke anyone that does not conform with the P.C. view.)

About an hour after the backlash, Marshall Henderson said it was part of a social media experiment, tweeting the following:

"One of my best friends, WHO IS GAY, is about to graduate in psychology, asked me to say these things so he can have responses ... TBC" and...

"The point of his study was to see how people react when others say things or act a certain way against another group of people ... TBC" and...

"THANK YOU MICHAEL SAM FOR STANDING UP FOR YOU AND MAKING THIS WHOLE PROJECT POSSIBLE!!! TRYING TO BRIDGE THE GAP ONE DAY AT A TIME!!"

So, was Marshall Henderson, the man who became famous for his crazy shots and crazy ways including his slogan 'White Girl Wednesday,' politically incorrect or is he the face of social media experimentation?

It really has a "Dog ate my homework" feel, no?

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This and that

- Think you can't do something? Wondering about whether the hurdles in your way are too extreme? Watch this about a table tennis player who lost his arms when he was 10 and holds the paddle in his mouth. Wow.

- Braves lost 4-2 to the Giants late Monday night as Tim Lincecum got a hair cut and looked like Tim Lincecum of 2009. The teams play again tonight. Yes, Danny Struggla sat again, replaced in the lineup by Ramiro Pena, who went 0-for-2 to drop to .195 on the season. Pena still leads the Braves second basemen in average over Uggla (.184) and Tyler Pastornicky (.143). Worse run for a position: Cleveland QB or Braves second basemen or Hawks point guard?

- Awful news that Marlins ace Jose Fernandez may be headed to the DL and need Tommy John surgery. Man that's tough.

- The Blazers extended their season by besting the Spurs in Game 4 last night. Spurs will try to end that one on Wednesday. Tonight, the Pacers look to finish the Wizards and the Clippers-Thunder play Game 5 tied at 2.

- Say what you will about his announcing style, but there is no debating that Dick Vitale is a caring, generous human being and one of the nicest big-timers in this business we've ever met. Vitale is trying to raise $250,000 for a grant in the name of Princess Lacey Holsworth, the 8-year-old girl who was part of the great story with Michigan State's basketball team. Lacey died April 8 after a three-year fight with cancer.

- Jameis Winston's dad says he needs 24-hour supervision. OK. What are you doing Mr. Winston? Sounds like a father-type gig. Seriously? C'mon. This is nuts. Or crabs. Either way, for a guy that said clearly last fall that he did not want to catch the Manziel disease, it seems if the Winston circus is several steps worse. Manziel was never involved in anything as serious as the sexual assault charge that Winston faced last year.

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Today's question

There's a ton of stuff to chomp on today. Feel free to go at it.

If we need a lighter fare, well, it was 37 years ago today that Howard Stern started his broadcast career. While you can love or hate Stern all you want, dude changed his industry.

What's your Rushmore of Howards?

Go - and remember the mailbag.