Now that the rush of Adam Silver jumping to the rescue and the illusion that he could easily snatch the team away from Donald Sterling is over... and now that we see clearly that Donald Sterling (and his wife, and very likely the entire upper hierarchy of the Clippers organization) are totally cynical and unrepentant about this entire affair, having failed to offer up any kind of apology or even the slightest acknowledgment that there was anything that anybody should have been offended by, it is now time for the Clipper players to take a moral stand and sit out at least one game, and very likely the entire rest of the playoffs.
As it becomes clear that Sterling will likely battle the league to a stalemate if not an outright victory, and that he cannot be legally forced to sell the team, much less prevented from simply passing it sideways to his wife or another confederate, the reality dawns that the ugly cloud over the Clippers will remain for the foreseeable future and has in fact gotten even worse and more toxic.
If the players were truly upset by the picture of dogmatic racism completed by the recorded statements originally leaked by TMZ, and offended that they have not even received the slightest personal apology or explanation from Mr. Sterling, then they are challenged and confronted at this moment by a moral dilemma. Either walk away from the Clippers, even at the cost of being in breach of contract, or simply lie down and take it, and go out there and play for the Clippers.
At this point, too, with Donald Sterling in open revolt against the league and initiating lawsuits against them, I have no idea what any Clipper "fans" are doing at any of these games. Is the situation not clear?
If the player's and coaches truly consider Sterling's conduct to be reprehensible and intolerable they should just walk away and bring this situation to a head. Now. Or else they should just accept that their ownership situation is not ideal, and that this ongoing situation is just going to be part of the NBA for *a while*.
Question: does anybody know if any of the sponsors who opted out have now opted back in? Were any of them contractually obligated to remain as sponsors or at least to continue paying for advertising already purchased?
In any case, if you ask me it is not enough to just leave this to the league. This is clearly a player issue, and a fan issue, and it is only the players and the fans who can bring any real pressure. So if Sterling is truly going to go all the way with this fight, then the players should too. Immediately. And the fans. Adam Silver, for his part, can issue a league order that any Clipper players will be allowed to opt out of their contracts (I believe he can do this if work conditions are deemed unhygienic or whatever). From there, as the lengthy legal battles get underway, the Clippers can just go all the way into the tank in front of an empty Staples center. (and by the way, HELLO, are the Lakers still going to let them play there?)
Otherwise, if the Clipper players, coaches and fans are just willing to stay in the current situation for the foreseeable future (admittedly, the most "Clipper-tastic" thing to do) then that is their choice, and they shouldn't complain, because it was simply worth the money and the situation is obviously not that bad, whether or not Sterling sees fit to reach out to the them, or to the city and the league, to offer a genuine acknowledgment and apology to try and heal the wounds that have been created, or not.
If not... *meh*. Seriously this is just another chapter in Clippers' lore as far as I'm concerned, not particularly worse than anything else. Clipper fans should just acknowledge that they accept this, and the players should too. Free country, and if they don't have a problem with it, then it's not my problem either so I guess I don't care either.