Warriors Planned to Boycott Game if Sterling Problem Wasn't Resolved

Published on 30-Apr-2014 by Stacey Mickles

Basketball - NBA    NBA Daily Review

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Warriors Planned to Boycott Game if Sterling Problem Wasn't Resolved

The NBA would have had a hell of a problem on its hands had the Commish not taken care of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.

According to some reports, the Golden State Warriors were planning on boycotting the game if the NBA hadn't banned the billionaire bigot.

This is what was being reported by Marcus Thompson II:

The Warriors were going to go through pre-game warm-ups and take part in the national anthem and starting line-up introductions. They were going to take the floor for the jump ball, dapping up the Clippers players as is customary before games.

Then once the ball was in the air, they were just going to walk off. All 15 of them.

Whoa! Can you imagine what kind of impact that would have had if Adam Silver didn't step up to the plate yesterday? A major American sports franchise players would have walked off the court before a crucial playoff game to make a political statement.

Nothing like that has ever taken place before. The closest was at the 1968 Olympics when two African-American athletes -- Tommie Smith and John Carlos -- made the black power salute on the medal stand, after they had competed, to make a statement about civil rights.

Their protest made history on a worldwide scale. Given the times, it's difficult for anyone who wasn't there to understand the power of the message it sent.

In contrast, if the Warriors had walked off the floor last night, it would have been a disaster for them.

They would have inconvenienced the fans who paid to see a playoff game. They would have upset an entire league's credibility without doing any extra damage to Sterling himself. In short, they would have run the risk of alienating much of the support they've received by being the bigger men and taking the high road.

Among those alienated would have been the other franchise owners, who will be the key group in actually forcing Sterling from the league. Make no mistake, it's their money that will ultimately be paying the enormous legal fees that will accrue if Sterling decides to fight back.

The Commish may say he has the votes to pass a formal resolution to force Sterling to sell, but don't think for a moment that the owners aren't anxiously wondering what precedent is being set by ostracizing one of their own for any reason that isn't against the law. As appalling as Sterling's comments were, what he did was not against the law.

Silver made it perfectly clear that the NBA will do whatever it takes to ensure that Sterling will never be a part of this league again. He's done so in the proper way.

It wouldn't have helped the cause to have all hell breaking loose.