Ahh, Donald Sterling. The most overtly racist and blatantly cheap NBA owner is at it again. This time, he is heckling his own player from courtside. (Yahoo!)
It’s not uncommon to hear Los Angeles Clippers fans heckle Baron Davis. Of late, however, the jeers directed at the team’s struggling point guard are coming from a far more surprising source: The man paying Davis, Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
Sterling has expressed his displeasure about Davis’ play by taunting him from his courtside seat at Clippers’ home games, several sources told Yahoo! Sports. Among Sterling’s verbal barbs:
– “Why are you in the game?”
– “Why did you take that shot?”
– “You’re out of shape!”
While Sterling has also taunted other Clippers players since the middle of last season, none have received it worse than Davis, the sources said. …
“There’s nothing I can say,” Davis said of Sterling’s taunts. “I have no comment on that. You just get to this point where it’s a fight every day. It’s a fight. You’re fighting unnecessary battles. I’m fighting unnecessary battles.
“It’s frustrating because I know and my teammates know I’m capable of getting it done, even dudes on the other team. It’s frustrating.”
I COULD discuss how Sterling is an asshole. How no sane owner would shout insults at a player. How I hope Blake Griffin takes Sterling into The Octagon and the two have a no-holds-barred brawl.
But no. You guys already know all that jazz. What I want to talk about is how brutally unproductive it is for an owner to scream insults at his own player.
Imagine for a second you’re at work, in your office. You’re a lawyer, and you’re trying to focus on an upcoming case. You are pouring over files upon files of previous litigation, and your trial is quickly approaching. With the best of focus, the task is difficult. But then your boss pulls up a seat in your office and makes himself comfortable. He is eating nachos as he begins his personal attack.
“You’re a fat ass!” he shouts. “You lazy son of a bitch!”
You wonder why he’s interrupting your work. He’s your boss, and it’s confusing. But he does this every day, so you don’t even begin to respond.
“Why do you even bother coming into the office?” He screams, as nacho crumbs spew out of his mouth. “You aren’t going to win this case, you stupid asshole!”
You try to block his insults out of your brain, but even so it’s difficult. This man is in your office, berating your work. You try to pay him no mind, but his loud, obnoxious words divert your attention ever so slightly.
With your focus weaning, you accidentally pick up the wrong file. Immediately you think, Oh, no. Now I’m going to get an earful.
“Why?” begins the explosion. “Why the hell are you picking up that file? The information you need is in the other one, you stupid bastard!”
You return to work without a response, but you are still bothered. This scumbag is in your office, chastising you at every opportunity. You don’t want to let him affect you, and you do your best not to lose your cool. But his criticisms never stop. Before long, you can barely think about the case you are supposed to be preparing for.
The trial comes, and you are not as ready as you should be. It is an open-and-shut case, and you should be on the winning side. But you argue it poorly, partially because your boss kept you from prepping correctly. His actions stopped you from producing as you should have, and the thing is, he’s the owner. He’s the one person most affected by your fuck-up. You are being paid a salary, so you are unaffected by any extra winnings. But he stands to reap the benefits if you win and make more money. Sadly, he cannot grasp how his actions affect you. He does not understand he helped put you in a situation to fail.
“See,” he tells you, after you lose the case. “I knew you were going to fuck this up.”
Now, I’m not comparing Baron Davis to a lawyer, and I’m not comparing playing basketball to practicing law. Reading case briefs is quite different than shooting jumpers. Heckling is common in the NBA, and players hear jeers every night. Hell, some players even feed off the animosity. But hearing boos from opposing fans is one thing; hearing them from your own boss is quite another. And the real-life equivalent to Sterling’s behavior would actually be your boss, in your office, hurling insults at you while you try to work.
We tend to think of NBA players as something different than humans. We don’t believe their emotions should be affected by hatred thrown their way. But on some level, this has to have some effect on Baron Davis’ play, and the Clippers’ play.
Can somebody please set up that no-holds-barred match, ASAP?