Cowherd: NBA should push for Sterling to sell Clippers
UPDATE: The NBA has banned Donald Sterling for life. Read more.
By Brent Stecker
Clippers owner Donald Sterling has raised a firestorm over his alleged racist comments, and it’s expected that first-year NBA commissioner Adam Silver will make an impact with his discipline of the league’s longest tenured owner when it comes down in a press conference Tuesday.
If the punishment is as severe as many are calling for, the Clippers could very well be on the market sooner rather than later. And if there’s one city that would be interested in an available NBA team, it’s Seattle.
ESPN Radio host Colin Cowherd, a Washington native who grew up rooting for the Sonics, told 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Danny” that the Sterling controversy give new life to the push to bring the NBA back to Seattle led by Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer.
“I don’t think (Sterling) is long for ownership. I think he’s going to be suspended indefinitely,” Cowherd said. “I don’t think he’ll be an owner two to three years from now. … I do (think Ballmer can get involved). He would be all in.”
Cowherd hopes that the NBA makes it as hard as possible for Sterling to keep the Clippers, even if the league doesn’t outright demand he sell the team.
“If I was the NBA commissioner, I would find a way to allow every member of the organization that’s under contract to be a free agent — the coaches, the scouts, the players,” he said. “The ultimate punishment to Donald Sterling is the reduction of net worth. He doesn’t care about people, he cares about himself and his net worth. If they’re all free agents regardless of contract, they could leave, his value or net worth goes down, then he would sell.”
In that instance, Ballmer and Hansen are just as viable of candidates to buy a team as anybody. It likely wouldn’t be easy to uproot an established team from Los Angeles, but Silver could see it as a chance to virtually erase the negative perception of the NBA in Seattle by helping bring the Clippers to town.
Cowherd sees an opportunity for Seattle with the Sterling situation, but he thinks there will be more opportunities under Silver even if this particular one doesn’t come to fruition.
“Seattle is affluent, smart, civil, really a perfect place for the NBA,” Cowherd said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if Seattle inherits or purchases an NBA team in the next decade.”