When Basketball becomes More Than a Sport

June 5, 2014
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Recently, the NBA playoffs have been rolling along and a lot of people are talking, but not necessarily about basketball. It would seem that a majority of the attention is and has been focused on a man named Donald Sterling. Sterling is an owner of the Los Angeles Clippers who had been recorded making offensive remarks about several groups of people who he referred to as minorities. Sterling also singled out Magic Johnson, a former Los Angeles Lakers player, and hall of famer. After TMZ got a hold of the recording, a social media firestorm ensued wreaking havoc on Sterling and the NBA alike. He then decided that it would be a good idea to talk in an interview in which he only seemed to make things far worse for himself.

Not only did the basketball nation become enraged, but in fact the entire nation demanded that Sterling sell the Clippers as soon as possible. People who had never heard of Sterling, let alone the Clippers, joined together to enforce the groups that already opposed Sterling. This is good, but it is also bad. This is because just about any attention, even negative, is good for business, and Sterling has received a lot of attention recently. Sterling still owns the Clippers, and is making tremendous amounts of money off of the terrible things he had said. Not only that, but because Sterling owns the Clippers and is now selling them, he will make the money that the team sells for. This amount is estimated at around two billion dollars. To put that into perspective, Sterling bought the Clippers in 1981 for twelve and a half million dollars which seems to be dollars and change to him at this point. A team with no history up until recently, including not winning a single championship, is selling for around two billion dollars. This is because, once again, even people who had never heard of the Clippers now know about them and Donald Sterling. This generates incredible business, and would explain why a team that has accomplished virtually nothing in the bigger picture, would sell for so much money.

The list of people who want in on owning the Clippers is tremendous. Ranging from Magic Johnson himself, to Opera, and even the former CEO of Microsoft. The latter being the one who ended up buying the team for a stunning two billion dollars. All in all, this story is proof of how sometimes basketball is not actually the most important thing in the business of basketball. For proof, ask someone who barely knows basketball at all who the Clippers are. Then ask about storied franchises such as the Celtics who had won seventeen championships. Chances are, more people will recognize the Clippers. This is due to social media and the spread of news as if it were a wild fire.

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