x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Clippers owner Sterling proves himself to be not so esteemed

It will not come as a surprise that last week during a wrongful termination suit brought against him, the owner testified under oath: "I don't profess to know anything about basketball."

Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. - Mark Twain.

I am willing to go out on a limb here and guess that Donald Sterling, the Los Angeles Clippers owner, has never read Twain.

Alas, there are apparently a lot of things Sterling has never read. Like an NBA record book, or anything to do with the NBA. Sterling is generally considered the worst owner of a North American professional sports team. He has owned the Clippers for 29 years and during that time they somehow made the play-offs four times.

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So maybe it will not come as a surprise that last week during a wrongful termination suit brought against him by Elgin Baylor, the former general manager, Sterling testified: "I don't profess to know anything about basketball."

There it was, under oath. You would have thought he had learnt something in almost 30 years of owning a NBA team.

And it gets better - or is that worse - Baylor is one of the greatest players in NBA history. An 11-time all-star, he is in the Hall of Fame. In other words, a living legend. All of which is apparently news to Sterling, who only employed him for 22 years. He testified he did not know any of that.

"No," Sterling answered. "... I didn't know that. I hired him for $3,000 (Dh11,019) a month. I didn't really know what his role was. ... He was working in a mail-order company back then."

That pretty much removes all doubt.