Sterling Battling Cancer, Paranoia, Reality

Published on 2-May-2014 by Stacey Mickles

Basketball - NBA    NBA Daily Update

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Sterling Battling Cancer, Paranoia, Reality

Call me cynical, but I find it quite interesting that, days after Donald Sterling was banned from the NBA, a report comes out that he has prostate cancer.

The billionaire bigot has been battling the disease the past two years.

His PR machine has definitely sprung into action. The story is everywhere.

Here's how the New York Post put it:

"People have been predicting his imminent demise. I’m sure he has the best . . . drugs money can buy,” said [an anonymous] source, who works closely with pro sports teams. “He can do anything to keep himself alive.”

The last line in this excerpt shows what money can buy. Sterling doesn't look like a man battling cancer. He just looks old.

For the record, not all prostate cancer requires surgery or radically affects daily life:

And for frame of reference, here's a dude who is definitely not a billionaire who's doing admirably since his diagnosis and treatment:

I'm sorry to hear about Sterling's condition, but the dude is such a manipulator that it wouldn't shock me at all if this was just a ploy to garner sympathy from the public so he would be allowed to keep his team.

And some fans may fall for it.

As well, if you read the entire Post article linked above, notice the part where he's calling friends and asking if they think he's a racist and that he's still in denial about being one. It's yet another clue he's going to fight the NBA tooth and nail.

And we're now seeing another angle that could be effective in Sterling's defense. Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel is taking Dallas Mavericks' owner Mark Cuban's apprehension a step further. He wonders if, for example, Magic owner Rich DeVos will be next due to his well-documented stance against gay marriage. Like Sterling, his statements are not breaking any laws.

So where does the NBA draw the line? Being cynical again, I'd guess it would probably come down to how much money it would cost the owners in cancelled sponsorships, season ticket packages, and/or court expenses.

The Post may have another point, too. It's possible that somewhere in the process -- after things have cooled down somewhat -- contrition may be a route to settlement. What happens if Sterling follows one of these avenues:

  • Michael Vick, who did commit a crime, paid for it, has been a model citizen since, and is back on the job; or
  • Tiger Woods, who did not commit a crime, paid for it, went to a sex-freak re-hab or whatever the hell that was, and emeged from it all as a major ratings attraction on the golf circuit again.

Like it or not, all Sterling needs are a few nervous owners and an effective strategy, and he could be back in business.

Reprehensible, you say? Yes, it is. But this is the way billionaires operate. The Commish has his work cut out for him.