It was the morning of Game 5 of the Warriors’ 2014 first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers. Four days earlier, TMZ had published voice recordings of then-Clippers owner Donald Sterling making racist statements to his mistress, V. Stiviano, throwing the NBA into a tailspin. When Myers called his boss with a status report, he told him in no uncertain terms, “‘These guys are going to walk off the floor,'” Welts recalled. “He was with the team that morning and said the vibe around the team — maybe both teams — was that if this doesn’t go the way the players want it to go that they could walk out on the floor and then walk right off and not play the game that night,” Welts said.
Silver was less than 90 days into the job, and he had a full-fledged crisis on his hands. The players were on the verge of shutting down the league in protest. And the threat was far more credible than anyone knew at the time. “I was all-in. Like shut down the whole season,” then-Warriors forward Andre Iguodala said. “Maybe that was too far, but as far as that game that day, you can reschedule it, you gotta sort this thing out, because there’s some deep-rooted stuff with him that had to be addressed.”
And if the Clippers and Warriors boycotted one game, what would happen to the rest of the playoffs? “If we didn’t play the first game,” Crawford said, “I don’t think we would’ve played any games, to be honest with you. I think that just would’ve been that, until something happened.”
When Paul Allen bought the team from Larry Weinberg on May 31, 1988, it came as a complete surprise. Nobody had any idea the team was even on the market until Allen showed up for the news conference. There is little doubt, if the franchise were to be put on the market, who would be the early odds-on favorite to buy it. That would be Larry Ellison, the co-founder of Oracle Corporation. Ellison has attempted to buy three NBA teams, the Golden State Warriors, New Orleans Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies.
And if he bought the Blazers, he would become the richest owner in the NBA, surpassing the Clippers’ Steve Ballmer by about $15 billion. Ellison’s net worth has been estimated at $64.5 billion, which would make him the sixth-richest person in the world. He financed the winning sailboat in the 2010 America’s Cup and actually crewed on that craft. He is also a licensed pilot who owns fighter jets.
Mike Vorkunov: MSG still intends to spin off its sports properties (Knicks & Rangers) — now projected for 1st quarter of 2020 — its president said today on MSG’s quarterly earnings call. The entertainment co. is expected to maintain 1/3 equity in the sports co. James Dolan would be CEO of both.
Misfits Gaming and Kroenke Sports & Entertainment have acquired slots in the upcoming Call of Duty franchise league, Activision Blizzard Esports announced on Tuesday. Misfits Gaming landed the Florida slot, while Kroenke purchased a Los Angeles slot. Each paid $25 million for a franchise, according to published reports.