Cowherd: NBA should push for Sterling to sell Clippers

Apr 28, 2014, 12:21 PM | Updated: Apr 29, 2014, 11:39 am


The Clippers’ silent protest spoke volumes, but forcing Donald Sterling to sell the franchise could speak more. (AP)

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.”

Brock and Salk podcast

Brock and Salk

Mariners Luis Castillo...
Mike Salk

Salk: Take a breath — how to understand Mariners’ approach to improving

What was Jerry Dipoto getting at about the Mariners' approach to payroll during his Seattle Sports show Thursday? Mike Salk puts it all into perspective.
1 day ago
Mariners Dipoto Servais...
Brent Stecker

Mariners’ Dipoto explains how their future impacts approach to payroll

If the Mariners are a "draft, develop and trade" team, what does that mean for signing free agents to big deals? Jerry Dipoto went in-depth on that Thursday on Seattle Sports.
2 days ago
Seattle Kraken Oliver Bjorkstrand Ryan Donato...
Brent Stecker

Why are Kraken surging this season? What broadcaster Forslund sees

Kraken play-by-play announcer John Forslund joined Brock and Salk to talk about the differences between surging Seattle now and last season.
3 days ago
Seahawks Tariq Woolen...
Brent Stecker

NFL Draft insider on why ’22 Seahawks class hit, possible ’23 targets

Seattle Sports' Brock and Salk caught up with ESPN NFL Draft analyst and insider Matt Miller to get his read on the Seahawks' rookies and what they could do in the 2023 draft.
3 days ago
Seahawks Broncos Russell Wilson...
Brent Stecker

Just how high will Seahawks’ pick from Wilson trade to Broncos get?

Brandon Stokley, a former star NFL receiver and current Denver radio host, shares his thoughts on where the Seahawks' top pick coming from the Broncos will land.
4 days ago
UW Huskies Michael Penix Jr...
Brandon Gustafson

What does the future hold for UW Huskies QB Michael Penix Jr.?

Should star UW Huskies QB Michael Penix Jr. go pro or return to Washington in 2023? Brock Huard and Mike Salk have very different opinions.
5 days ago
Cowherd: NBA should push for Sterling to sell Clippers