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Clippers' Blake Griffin Writes About The Nightmare Of Working For 'Weird Uncle' Donald Sterling

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L.A. Clippers Power forward Blake Griffin attends GQ & LeBron James NBA All Star Party on February 15, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images for GQ)
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Sure, we would all just rather not think about the time that a strange lady with hazy motives and weird visors kind of saved one of our city's NBA teams from the clutches of a super-racist old dude. But Clippers player Blake Griffin has an unexpectedly interesting piece from a player's perspective about that messy chapter now that the dust has settled.

Not a bit of it is shocking, but then again neither was anything about Donald Sterling's racist tendencies, as Griffin points out in a piece for The Players Tribune:

When I knew the Clippers were drafting me, the first thing I did was type Donald Sterling’s name into Google. The first hit that came up was “Donald Sterling is a racist.” I read an article on how he didn’t want minorities to live in his apartment buildings. My first thought was, Wow this guy is really, really a racist … how is he an owner of an NBA team? My second thought was, Wow, these articles are from 2003 and 2008. I guess everybody already knows about this stuff and just doesn’t care.

As players, we’re not supposed to really care about anything but basketball. We’re just supposed to perform. To be honest, I didn’t ever really think about bringing up Sterling’s past. What was I supposed to do? Just picture me at the press conference my rookie year. “Uh … hey, guys, before we talk about today’s game, did you happen to see that investigative report on my owner?”

Griffin has a great description of the mortifying scene when he attended Sterling's annual White Party in Malibu as a rookie in 2009. Sterling leads Griffin by the hand to introduce him to his guests, and during each introduction, he asks the then-20-year-old Griffin where he's from and what he thinks about Los Angeles women. He can't escape:
I was hoping to escape down the stairs, find one of my teammates and blend in with the rest of the crowd. I tried to pull my hand away. Nope. Things were about to get weirder. Two blonde models showed up on either side of me. They had clearly been hired for the event. I knew this because they were wearing size XXXX-L Clippers T-shirts tied at the stomach. I looked at Sterling. He had a big dumb grin on his face. I looked at one of the girls, as if to say, “Uhhh, you don’t have to do this.” She looked back: “Uhhh, yes I do.”
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Griffin writes that he's a fan of new owner Steve Ballmer who seems to care about the team, winning and his employees. Griffin is not happy that Ballmer was immediately turned into a punchline for his enthusiasm: "It’s little bit ironic to me that the media has tried to turn Ballmer into a meme when they turned a blind eye to Sterling for years. Steve is a good dude. He’s like a cool dad who gives you candy. Donald was like a weird uncle."