When the Sterling tapes were released to the public that proved, once and for all, that Donald Sterling was an out and out racist, the reaction around the league and across the nation was harsh and negative. And rightly so. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver moved quickly to condemn Sterling and began taking the steps necessary to oust him as owner of the Los Angeles Clippers.
Silver, citing a violation of the league's Constitution and multiple morality contracts, dropped a $2.5 million dollar fine on Sterling, as well as banning him from the league – forever. Silver also began moving to compel a vote amongst the other league owners to force a sale of the Clippers, thus severing Sterling's association with the Association forever more.
But news broke last week that before Silver's vote to force the sale of the team could happen, Sterling had empowered his ex-wife Shelly, to begin negotiating the sale of the team. The terms and bidding moved incredibly swiftly with multiple groups throwing around incredible amounts of money, and by the end of the week, we learned that former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had submitted the winning bid of $2 billion dollars – yes, billion with a capital B. Not a bad chunk of change for a team that has never won an NBA title, has never even been to the finals and only has two division crowns to their credit. But hey, when you're worth at least $20 billion dollars, what's a couple of billion on a shiny new toy that appears to be on the upswing?
The NBA league offices, have just recently approved the sale of the Clippers to Ballmer. But before the sale is finalized, the other league owners must approve of Ballmer joining their exclusive club – though, it will really amount to nothing more than a formality as the entire league wants nothing more than to close the book on Donald Sterling.
So now that he's on his way out of the league, what's a billionaire bigot supposed to do to fill up his days? Surely owning a professional sports franchise is a time consuming deal, so now that he's not an owner anymore, what will Donald Sterling do to amuse himself? What will he do with all of that new found free time?
Well, here are just a few suggestions...
10 Make a New Friend
Snyder: Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports Images[/caption]
Like the NBA, the NFL has a problem with an owner using a racial slur – as his team's name. Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder is facing mounting criticism over his use and vigorous defense of the name “Redskins.” He says he's honoring Native Americans by using the name – even though numerous Native American groups have told him it's an insensitive racial slur. Perhaps Sterling and Snyder can get together, go bowling, have a few drinks and bond over the out of control political correctness of America. It would likely be a friendship that would last forever.
9 Take Up Skydiving
Who says skydiving and extreme action sports have to be a young man's game? Sterling should consider taking up high altitude skydiving. We hear there is no bigger rush, nor any way to appreciate the world we live in better than being above it and taking in its majesty. And we have a really good feeling there would be no shortage of people willing to help him pack his chute!
8 Sue Somebody!
Given that he has a background as a lawyer, the only thing Sterling loves more than money is a good legal fight. The former Donald Tokowitz made a name for himself in personal injury as well as real estate law, in a time when Jewish people were given few opportunities in some of LA's more prestigious law firms. Perhaps it's the fact that he had to fight, scratch, and claw his way to the top of his game that gave him such a love for drawing blood in the courtroom.
Whatever the case though, Sterling absolutely loves a legal brawl. When he moved his struggling franchise – then based in San Diego – up to Los Angeles without league approval, the NBA fined him a whopping $25 million dollars. Unflappable, and apparently wanting to give the league a big middle finger, Sterling turned around and sued the NBA for $100 million. After much back and forth and legal wrangling, Sterling finally agreed to drop his suit and the NBA agreed to drop the fine down to $6 million dollars.
He currently has a $1 billion dollar lawsuit against the NBA pending for violating antitrust laws as well as his Constitutional rights, so Sterling is clearly already ahead of us on this.
7 Get Back in the Real Estate Game
Aside from his legal practice, Sterling also built a fortune in real estate. His first purchase was a 26 unit building in Beverly Hills back in the 60's – can you imagine the rent on that place today? Seeing the cash cow that apartment ownership was, Sterling began buying up older buildings all over the place. The trouble was, he was about as good of a landlord as he was an NBA owner. Some have gone so far as to label him a slumlord. Others have taken issue with his racist and discriminatory rental practices – something which came to a head with a lawsuit in 2003.
The Housing Rights Center of Los Angeles, on behalf of 18 tenants, filed a housing discrimination case that featured more of Sterling being Sterling – which is to say throwing out bigoted and racist remarks to employees. According to the lawsuit Sterling said, “black people smell and attract vermin,” and “hispanics just smoke and hang around the building,” as well as Sterling's alleged intent to rent only to Korean tenants because “they will pay the rent and live in whatever conditions I give them.”
Sterling has faced multiple lawsuits over his racially discriminatory rental practices over the years, and has paid untold millions in fines. But he seems to enjoy buying rental properties and then renting them out to the “right” people, and now that he has some free time, perhaps he can go back to dabbling in the real estate market.
6 Spend Some Quality Time With Himself
One of the big advantages of being as insanely wealthy as Sterling is that he can afford a lot of things that we mere mortals can't. Given the fact that he doesn't seem to work and play well with others, and has a healthy disregard for people – minorities more specifically – Sterling might do himself (and civilized society) a big solid by removing himself from the equation. He has more than enough money that would allow him to go buy some beautiful island somewhere in the Caribbean and South Pacific. Somewhere that has beautiful sunsets, and most importantly for Sterling, pristine WHITE sand beaches. Once there, he can spend some time, well away from the unwashed masses, and reflect upon his life – and continue being a bigoted jerk well away from the rest of the world and have nobody in his face about it. It really is a win-win for everybody.
5 Redecorating his Home(s)
When you go through something traumatic that leaves you shaken, sometimes you like to cleanse away the memories of it by doing something seemingly trivial, like reorganizing and rearranging your home. Sometimes a new perspective can bring on a new attitude as you work your way through whatever the trauma was. Since Sterling has had his team ripped away from him, it might be a good time for him to say out with the old, in with the new and do some refurbishing of his home(s). Perhaps he can head on down to Bed, Bath & Beyond and take advantage of their all-white sale to do just that.
4 Find True Love at Last
It's not very likely that his relationship with V. Stiviano is going to last forever, not with her outing him in public as the bigoted jerk he is and all. And hey, even billionaire bigoted jerks want to be loved, so we're thinking that with all of his free time, Sterling can spend some of it looking for his soul mate – or at least somebody who won't necessarily record his racist rantings and then release them into the world.
Given his penchant for women of a particular age range, we fully expect to see Sterling looking for love at the local shopping mall, miniature golf course, or Justin Bieber concert.
3 Buy a NASCAR Team
If the thrill of competition is still in his blood – and given the number of photos we've seen of him sleeping courtside during a game – and Sterling wants to enjoy more time as the owner of a professional sports team, we suggest he start looking to put together his very own NASCAR team. It would have a few benefits for him – first, those 500 mile races are so long and oftentimes boring, that nobody would really notice him sleeping.
2 Join a Reading Club
Perhaps Sterling can use his free time to chart a path toward self betterment. Maybe he can even turn over a new leaf. To that end, perhaps he should join a reading and book discussion club. We'd suggest he start off with books like “Being a Decent Human Being for Dummies,” and the ever popular “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, You're a Racist Jerk.” Maybe from there, with some valuable life lessons under his belt, he can move on to some classic literature by Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Langston Hughes, and Eric Jerome Dickey, among others.
Though, perhaps given what we know about Sterling, we're aiming too high and should start him off slowly with the “Dick and Jane” series.
1 Live Like Smaug in The Hobbit
One thing in this whole debacle is certain, Donald Sterling, while already filthy rich, is about to get a whole lot richer. He bought the Clippers for $12.5 million dollars, and the $2 billion dollar price tag Ballmer ponied up will give Sterling quite the return on his investment. Perhaps he can just pile all of his cash – because really, there is nothing he loves more – inside of his mansion where he can sleep on it like the dragon Smaug in the Hobbit and lord over it like Gollum. Yes, money is most definitely Sterling's precioussssssss.