Every now and again, there are a few things in the news that make you go 'Huh? What did I just read?' Sports is no different. There were a few NBA tidbits this week that even made some of the savviest media people and die-hard fans scratch their heads and do a double take. Don't worry, you are not misreading what's below.
Donald Lawsuit Dismissed
Remember back in 2014 when former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling had to step down from and sell his team? If not, here’s the quick recap: Donald Sterling was illegally taped by his mistress saying something racial and received a lifetime ban from the NBA by Commissioner Adam Silver. Because of the ban, Sterling had to sell his team, which was purchased by ex-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for a record-shattering $2 billion.
Well you would think that would be the end of it but no. Sterling then filed a $600-million antitrust lawsuit against the NBA, claiming that he could have gotten more back after selling his team. Sterling then went on to add that his ‘incident’ greatly reduced his team’s market value, thus forcing him to sell the Clippers at the price he sold it at.
However this past Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Fernando M. Olguin dismissed Sterling’s antitrust lawsuit. Judge Olguin went on to say that he found the lawsuit was farfetched due to the fact that the former Clippers owner really didn't suffer any financial blows when selling the team. Plus Sterling made a $2 billion profit from the sale, which doesn't exactly scream out 'I just got hosed.'
Unfortunately though, Sterling vowed to continue to press on with his lawsuit. More so than not, he'll end up taking it to the U.S. Court of Appeals in hopes of getting it overturned. Thus continuing on the saga that everybody just wishes that will go away.
Superman in a Sticky Situation
Last Saturday night, perhaps one of the weirdest (and dumbest) non-LeBron story took place in a game between the Houston Rockets and the Atlanta Hawks. With 3:39 to go in the first quarter, Hawks forward Paul Millsap was fouled and went to the free throw line. However upon receiving the ball, Millsap showed that it was covered in a sticky, foreign substance. The last player to handle the rock: Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard.
Howard was asked about the incident this past Monday and he gave his response.
“I just think that it's getting overblown, like I'm doing something crazy. But again, I've never been a cheater, never been the type of player that has to do something illegal to win. It's upsetting, but I can't control it now. I've been using the spray for the last five years. I never hid the spray. I never did anything to try to hide what I was doing. It was just something to make my hands dry.”
One can summarize what Dwight said in one simple sentence: “I got caught doing something to gain an unfair competitive advantage but I’m not a cheater because everybody else does it.” Interestingly enough, no penalty or ejection was assessed by the referees during that game as the Rockets went on to lose to the Hawks 109-97 (Howard finished the game with 8 points and 14 rebounds in 35:28 minutes of play).
So far the league has not taken disciplinary action against Howard. However, as we saw with the Blake Griffin incident last month, the NBA takes its time before levying any sort of punishment. More than not, it’ll probably be a fine for tampering. Still, it’s just one more black mark against the Rockets big man in a season where he’s been marred by plenty of them.
NBA Takes a Stance Against New NC Law
The NBA says it is "deeply concerned" about a North Carolina law it views as discriminatory toward gays and says it doesn't know if it can successfully host the All-Star Game in Charlotte next season.
On Thursday, the league joined those opposing the state's "Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act," which has been criticized because it allows businesses to discriminate against gays and lesbians.
In a statement, the league says the law "runs counter to our guiding principles of equality and mutual respect," adding that it does not know yet "what impact it will have on our ability to successfully host the 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte."
The events are scheduled for next February, and there have already been calls for the league to move them out of North Carolina because of the law.
–New York AP
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